Book 56 2012 Reading Challenge A social *cultural and natural history of corvidae crows jays and ravens The thesis of this magnificently pen and *and natural history of corvidae crows jays and ravens The thesis of this magnificently pen and illustrated volume is crows and ravens benefit people and we benefit them In other words we have always had a close relationship with crows and they are keyed into us in ways that other wilds animals are not The authors argue crows have shaped the way people live and we have shaped how crows lived These terrifically smart birds have become experts at exploiting resources from us Also crows share similar traits and social strategies with humans Crows ravens and jays use tools they figure out how to get what they need They are very social and can actually be devious Hence the raven s name the trickster in folk tale A wonderful book for the general reader who is interested in North America s smartest birds You will see crows in a new way guaranteed Lots of research and examples of work with crows cited Entertaining and thought provoking This is a fantastic book and is highly recommended I am currently feeding a pair of ravens from my rural back garden in West Wales and it is a fabulous opportunity to study them up close and personal They are collecting food for their oung and have learned that I am a very soft touch when it comes to Corvus coraxIn the Company of Crows and Ravens benefits from Tony Angell s wonderful artwork and deals with both the natural history behaviour and folklore associated with corvids stretching back thousands of ears I particularly like the way the authors deal with the less common species such as conservation strategies for the endangered Hawaiian crow In summary the book is an impressive work of scholarship based on personal conservation strategies for the endangered Hawaiian crow In summary the book is an impressive work of scholarship based on personal by both the authors and the artist they should be congratulated In the Company of Crows and Ravens is a very solid book that seeks to explain the various ways corvids and humans have influenced one another over the hundreds of thousands ears they have shared the earth Ravens likely lead us and the wolves they still aid and harass to this day to our prey and were the recipients of some of our meat due to this Crows likely followed our nomadic tribes helping clean up after us harassing us giving us gifts such as language as much as they gave us backhanded presents such as missing goods Did we learn deceit from them or did their caching occur to us prior to our interactions uestions upon uestionsWe ve aided corvid species and we ve hurt them We are responsible for the spread of the American Crow as well as for the elimination of the Common Raven from much of Europe and now we re responsible for the Common Raven s slow comeback to those cities where before they were lost Likewise we were responsible for the three Hawaiian crows extinctions and
now are trying to save the last of them and repopulate the islands once Our are trying to save the last of them and repopulate the islands once Our have turned crows into pests could we help them reach natural levels once Crows have a lot to teach us and everything that they teach us can be further used to aid us in all animal relationships They From the cave walls at Lascaux to the last painting by Van Gogh from the works of Shakespeare to those of Mark Twain there is clear evidence that crows and ravens influence human culture Yet this influence is not unidirectional say the authors of this fascinating book people profoundly influence crow culture ecology and evolution as well Examining the often surprising ways that crows and humans interact John Marz. .
Re an ambassador species of sorts halfway between the domestic and wild and smart enough to know that line that they tread between the domestic and wild and smart enough to know that line that they tread intelligence all too obvious emotions *social structure and ecological impact are all things we can learn from if only we take the *structure and ecological impact are all things we can learn from if only we take the to listenThey re a wonderful strange set of birds I can t wait to learn about themFor all of ou looking to read this book be advised a current book is available in John M Marzluff s Gifts of the Crow Definitely for the lay person wasn t the tone I expected from an established scientist in the field Also anthropomorphic leaning than I expected in places but I suppose to better reach a specific audience All this to say as a naturalist I was expecting something a bit different It is my first Marzluff and am curious as to the approach his other titles take compared to this one I also found the central argument crowhuman co evolution not strongly supported but perhaps because I felt this book would have really benefitted from better editing Arguments weren t structured particularly well and supportive pieces were all over the place They should not be lawyers but they don t have to be An edito Great and slightly unsettling book Boy was I taught wrong about non humans I have to laugh at the Goldilocks nature of previous reviews Too much science Not enough science Too long too short Too dense too light And so forth For me said Goldilocks it is just right The broad range of information about crows ravens suits me just fine altho in my perfect corvid world jays would be included too The speculation about human corvid coevolution is fascinating to me It s pretty clearly presented as speculation as the unifying narrative which makes me SMH at readers who say there is no narrative I have been reading this like I read novels It s easy to It is very satisfying to me to learn other historical perspectives on such a familiar creatureWhen I sit 7 day sesshins the long days of silence are freuently decorated with corvid commotion So far I haven t levitated or achieved oneness with all there is but there is always a point where the crows I become one It will be interesting to sit with the knowledge I ve gained from In the Company at the next sesshinPS The paperback reproduction in the edition
I M READING DOES ANGELL Sm reading does Angell s no favors This is sad There are so many better newer books out there including Gifts of the Crow How Perception Emotion and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans by the same author that this early look at co evolution can be skipped Still it s fairly well written and there are tidbits of interest than I can sample for ou here so if ou re trying to read everything in the field go for itHow did crows and ravens come to recognize fluorescent orange cheese puffs as food rather than bits of plastic Probably the same way they learned that a McDonald s bag rather than a brown paper bag of similar size and shape and with identical contents of fries is the target to attempt first when both are set out conveniently A few learned from trial and error and cult. Luff and Tony Angell contend that those interactions reflect a process of “cultural coevolution” They offer a challenging new view of the human crow dynamic a view that may change our thinking not only about crows but also about ourselves Featuring than 100 original drawings the book takes a close look at the influences people have had on the lives of crows throughout history and at the significant ways crows Ure taught others Crows have cultureEarlier peoples probably mostly ignored crows Earlier farmers harassed and hunted them Now people seldom hunt them and those in suburbs and hunted them Now people seldom hunt them and those in suburbs towns often even feed them The unpredictable people are the smarter crows must become Crows are adaptablePsychologist Nicholas Thompson of Clark University recorded caws from wild crows then remixed and replayed them to crows Depending on how he arranged a seuence of cawing as a structured versus an unstructured composition Thompson could attract or repel crows with the same caws Obviously syntax not just the symbol makes a difference to the meaning By any but the most determinedly homo centric definition of language crows have languageThe book concludes with advice to those who want to serve science and the birds and has both a bibliography and a reading list for children And an index and lots of great illustrations A fascinating look at a very smart bird There is a great You Tube video of a little girl that befriended a crow and all the presents that were Brought to her Basically this book was not as interesting as it should have been given the subject matter Corbids are fascinating on a bad day Some species use tools some even make their own they can recognise their own reflection as themself they re sociable with weird rituals many species adapt brilliantly They talk in distinctive ways and have been known to name people They survive in deserts and the Arctic and every where in betweenMore than that they re part of human culture and mythology around the world Myths about them positive and negative abound They make the world they steal the sun they ferry souls to the afterlife they lie and cheat abound They make the world they steal the sun they ferry souls to the afterlife they lie and cheat saveSo a book about them should not be a struggle to readThe book isn t anecdotal enough to be easy read but it s not sharp enough to be interesting scientifically There are interesting bits in it but not e I know fuck all about birds of any sort save the rhea subject of my forthcoming African travelogue Ghana Rhea Travels with a Flightless Bird but the dictates of being a fiction writer often mean that ou don t get to read whatever Lawbreakers Suspense Stories you wantou have to read what HIPPO IN THE GARDEN you need Always striving for authenticity I read this book to hopefully get an insight into the ways that crows ravens and all those other corvids I can smugly toss this just learned term about like a blow up doll have influenced human culturees Spinal Trauma yes Poe fans I hearou but look I ll be frank the guy shagged dead people and Shadow (New Species, yes there s a whole chapter on these birds roles in religion superstition and culture a chapter that is in fact wanting But what s great is the rest of the bookLeaving aside the fuzzily elucidated ideas of coevolution and the obligatory save the birds save the humans shtick there is an immense value to this book in learning about another species that isn t us Hereou can learn how these birds evolved how they re different how they move communicate love kill and interact with people For these reasons I d gladly recommend this book Definitely written with the layman in mind. Ave altered human lives In the Company of Crows and Ravens illuminates the entwined histories of crows and people and concludes with an intriguing discussion of the crow human relationship and how our attitudes toward crows may affect our cultural trajectory As the authors state in their preface “Crows and people share similar traits and social strategies To a surprising extent to know the crow is to know ourselv.