Rooks have already demonstrated their intelligence in lab-based studies that have tested their ability to solve problems and use tools.
The rook is a member of the corvid or crow family, which is famed for its intelligence.
As well solving laboratory-based puzzles, crows have been spotted exploiting urban environments by, for example, dropping walnuts onto busy roads and using the traffic to crack them open.
And although rooks are farmland birds, and tend to keep away from the middle of big towns and cities, they are increasingly being tempted into our gardens by bird feeders, so researchers hope this will provide the ideal setting to study their natural behaviour.
“We’ve done a lot of different studies on a number of corvids looking into their intelligence and behaviour, focusing on their amazing memories, their ability to imagine future scenarios and plan for them,” he told BBC News.
“This survey will provide vital information that couldn’t be attained any other way into how rooks use our gardens, eat and cache our food and, importantly, whether rooks can produce innovative solutions to novel problems they don’t encounter in the wild.”