Beyond croaking, "Nevermore," what exactly do ravens do all day? Bernd Heinrich, biology professor at the University of Vermont and author of Ravens in Winter, has spent more than a decade learning the secrets of these giants of the crow family. He has observed startlingly complex activities among ravens, including strong pair-bonding, use of tools, elaborate vocal communication, and even play. Ravens are just plain smart, and we can see much of ourselves in their behavior. They seem to be affectionate, cranky, joyful, greedy, and competitive, just like us. And in Mind of the Raven, Heinrich makes no bones about attributing emotions and intellect to Corvus corax--just not the kind we humans can understand. He mostly catalogs their behaviors in the manner of a respectful anthropologist, although a few moments of proud papa show through when he describes the pet ravens he hand-raised to adulthood.
Heinrich spends hundreds of loving hours feeding roadkill fragments to endlessly hungry raven chicks, and cold days in blinds watching wild ravens squabble and frolic. He is a passionate fan of his "wolf-birds," a name he gave them when he made the central discovery of the book: that ravens in Yellowstone National Park are dependent on wolves to kill for them. Mind of the Raven offers inspiring insight into both the lives of ravens and the mind of a truly gifted scientist. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In a book that demonstrates the rewards of caring and careful observation of the natural world, Heinrich (Ravens in Winter, etc.), a noted biologist, Guggenheim fellow and National Book Award nominee (for Bumblebee Economics, 1979), explores the question of raven intelligence through observation, experiment and personal experience. Although he has raised many ravens through the years (beginning with a tame pair that shared his apartment at UCLA in the 1960s), Heinrich focuses much of his attention on four nestlings he adopted from the Maine woods near his home. As he describes tending to the demanding babies, chopping up roadkill, cleaning up after them and enduring their noisy calls for food, readers will marvel at how much Heinrich knows and at how much joy he derives from acquiring that knowledge. As the birds mature, Heinrich details how these and other ravens feed, nest, mate, play and establish a society with clear hierarchical levels. At its best, his writing is distinguished by infectious enthusiasm, a lighthearted style and often lyrical descriptions of the natural world. His powers of observation are impressive and his descriptionsAof how a raven puffs its feathers in a dominance display, of how a female calls for food from her mate, of the pecking order at a carcassAare formidably precise. Toward the end of the book, Heinrich addresses the question implied by the title: To what degree can ravens be said to think? His answer: "I suspect that the great gulf or discontinuity that exists between us and all other animals is... ultimately less a matter of consciousness than of culture." Illustrations.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
great book if you want to learn about how the Raven mind works.. I am learning a lot.. I throw bread out in my back yard and they stop to feed now and again, they are intriguing... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Penny
Ravens are so smart, loved the book, The author is amazing!! Dedicate so many years to this study.!!Published 1 month ago by Sz
I loved it. A lot of great research plus entertaining anecdotes. , occasionally a little dry but worth it. Highly recommendedPublished 1 month ago by queencaren
I purchased this book, thinking that it would enthrall me. The first chapter deeply disturbed me, as I followed Heinrich into the nests of the ravens and "saw" him... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tamalyn Kralman
Enjoyed reading Heinrich's anecdotes of raven behavior and the stories he included from the experience and observations of other biologists and raven lovers. Read morePublished 2 months ago by D.Beyer