Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans

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Simon and Schuster, Feb 5, 2013 - Nature - 320 pages
4 Reviews
Stan Coren’s groundbreaking The Intelligence of Dogs meets Bernd Heinrich’s classic Mind of the Raven in this astonishing, beautifully illustrated look at the uncanny intelligence and emotions of crows.

Playful, social, and passionate, crows have brains that are huge for their body size, which allows them to think, plan, and reconsider their actions. They also exhibit an avian kind of eloquence, mate for life, and associate with relatives and neighbors for years. And to people who care for them and feed them, they often give oddly touching gifts in return.

The ongoing connection between humans and crows—a cultural coevolution—has shaped both species for millions of years. Scientist John Marzluff teams up with artist-naturalist Tony Angell to tell amazing stories of these brilliant birds. With Marzluff’s extraordinary original research on the intelligence and startling abilities of corvids—crows, ravens, and jays—Angell’s gorgeous line drawings, and a lively joint narrative, the authors offer an in-depth look at these complex creatures and the traits and behaviors we share, including language, delinquency, frolic, passion, wrath, risk taking, and awareness. Crows gather around their dead, warn of impending doom, recognize people, commit murder of other crows, lure animals to their death, swill coffee and drink beer, design and use tools—including cars as nutcrackers—and windsurf and sled to play.

With its abundance of funny, awe-inspiring, and poignant stories, Gifts of the Crow portrays creatures who are nothing short of amazing.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TracyRowanAuthor - LibraryThing

Oddly enough I'm in the perfect position to "eat crow" as the saying goes. I saw a number of reviews that suggested this book was uneven, that there was too much science, as one person put it, and I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mirandainspace - LibraryThing

Meh. I was hoping I would like this more than I did. The anecdotes about corvid behavior and inter-species interaction were great, but the book really gets weighed down with thorough neuroscientific ... Read full review

Contents

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Contents
169
Preface Amazing Feats and Deep Connections
233
Passion Wrath and Grief
247
Risk Taking
249
Awareness
251
Reconsidering the Crow Acknowledgments Appendix Notes References
254
Index
276
41
277
117
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169
280

Birdbrains Nevermore
234
Language
237
Delinquency
240
Insight
242
Frolic
244

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About the author (2013)

John Marzluff, Ph.D., is Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington. The author of four books and over one hundred scientific papers on various aspects of bird behavior, he is the recipient of the A. Brazier Howell, Board of Directors, and H.R. Painton awards from the Cooper Ornithological Society.

Tony Angell has authored and/or illustrated a dozen award-winning books related to natural history.

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