Crows: Encounters With the Wise Guys of the Avian World / Candace Savage
Vancouver: Greystone, c2005.
I noticed this book when Raidergirl reviewed it for the Canadian Book Challenge -- my library had it on the shelves -- so I picked it up as a small lunchtime read. Over the last couple of weeks I've been reading small bits of it while on my lunch breaks; it's a perfect book for this purpose.
Made up of short chapters interspersed with myths and illustrations of corvids, this provides intriguing facts and stories about crow behaviour. From tool making to family ties to intentional deception, these birds are clever and so fascinating.
It's a short book but with lots of fun information, as well as a lengthy bibliography and further reading at the end. It reveals a lot about how crows can be considered intelligent right up there with apes and humans.
I really love crows -- there is a family of them in my neighbourhood with a baby who seems to be hanging around for longer than we thought it should -- we've named this one Crokinole. It makes odd sounds and wants to be taken care of, even at a year old. Reading this book revealed that this is not quite usual for crows but also not unheard of. Often a fledgling will hang around home for a year or two. We'll keep our eyes on Crokinole this summer to see what happens! Armed with the new crow facts from this book I'll watch a little more carefully.
In any case, this was a great little book to get you started on crow facts -- it's small and brief but still informative and curiosity inducing. The author has other books on both birds and bees, so perhaps I'll be checking out some more nature writing this year as well.