How an injured bird sparked passion of a lifetime for TikTok's 'Crow Girl'

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Natalie Gray

A teenager who has amassed more than 35,000 TikTok followers as The Crow Girl has described how her life changed the day she found an injured bird on her driveway.

Eighteen-year-old Ella Rootham from Norfolk has since made a name for herself for her love rescuing and releasing corvids.

And the interest has developed into such a passion that the A-level student is now changing her plans to study for a law degree and now wants to study wildlife and conservation instead.

"It started in 2020 in the summer when we found a baby jackdaw on our driveway and we thought we'd just look after him for a few days and release him," she told ITV News Anglia.

"He was blind so we kept him inside the house for a year and that's how we started.

"Then we started rescuing them from other rescue centres or just from when we found them.

"I just fell in love with them."

Ella's love of corvids has won her a flock of followers. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Because of bird flu restrictions, Ella has to keep the birds inside recently, but when she was able to she would take them out with her near her home.

"We would take them out for flies and walks to give them some enrichment and exercise," she said.

"So many people would stop and ask questions and it was really nice telling people about them. We never had someone who was mean."

Her parents Jonathan and Sarah, however, are slightly less keen on her feathered friends.

"To be absolutely honest, I'm not that keen on them because they are quite intimidating," said Mr Rootham.

"When you open the kitchen door in the morning to have breakfast and there's a bird flying around, it's quite a scary prospect really to be faced with."

Ella looks after the ravens in the garden of the family home Credit: ITV News Anglia

Scientists have studied the intelligence of corvids for years and claim they are one of the world's smartest birds - research Ella agrees with.

"They can read traffic lights," she said.

"They know when it's safe to cross the road and when it's not when they're gathering food.

"They can mimic humans - one of my birds can say hello and laugh. It's very odd... they are just very, very smart. They have the mental age of a seven-year-old apparently," she said.

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