Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Review: Gifts of the Crow

Rob writes:  Having always loved to watch the American Crows in my area and Common Ravens as I have traveled around the US, I was very excited to read Gifts of the Crow by John Marzluff and Tony Angell. This book tells the amazing stories of corvids around the world. From crows in Russia using plastic lids to slid down steep roofs to New Caledonian Crows using problem solving skills to access food, this book will have you amazed at what this family of birds can accomplish.

The book, while very scientific in areas, is easy to understand as the author takes complex functions of the brain and presents them in such a way that they don't seem so complicated. The author also does a wonderful job of combining both scientific studies with very fun personal and anecdotal observations to provide a very well-rounded view of corvids.

One of the best parts of the book to me was the section on gifts that crows have left for people. The most fascinating story in this this section was about a couple that had saved a crow that was hanging by its feet that were stuck in the slots of a wooden fence. Several months later, what is assumed to be the same crow, showed back up at the couple's home as left gifts such as dead mice and sticks in the exact location where they had saved this bird's life. It's difficult to believe that a bird would do this, but there are several other equally amazing examples in the book!

Gifts of the Crow was released last year in hardcover but is now available for the first time in paperback. I would highly recommend this book for anyone that is interested in animal behavior and anyone that has enjoyed the corvids in their backyard.

We received a copy of this book from the publisher to review on The links are to our Amazon Affiliate account.


Unknown said...

I got to meet John at the Golden Eagle Audubon Society banquet in Boise. He did a fantastic presentation. Amazing stuff!

Rob Ripma said...

I would love to see him present sometime! Animal behavior is facinating to me!