- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books; 1.6.2013 edition (February 5, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1439198748
- ISBN-13: 978-1439198742
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 179 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans Paperback – February 5, 2013
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“Researchers writing about comparative human and nonhuman cognition always make brief, obligatory reference to the underlying neurological and hormonal systems, but Marzluff and Angell actually provide us with the details. In lucid, logical, and articulate prose, they carefully explain all the interrelated mechanisms involved in the fascinating behavior patterns of their corvid subjects and how these mechanisms relate to those of humans. Their book is indeed a gift, not only to those of us eager to learn about corvid behavior but also but also to those who wish to understand the bases for these actions.” (Irene M. Pepperberg, author of Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Uncovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process)
“John Marzluff and Tony Angell's amazing, true stories of crows who rage, grieve, give gifts, work together, and even design and use tools would be enough to make this book a great read. But these maverick scientists go a step further, and actually show how these birds' big brains, though different from our own, achieve many of the same feats. Gifts of the Crow is a gift to all of us who have argued for years that humans don't possess the only minds in the universe. This is one of the most exciting books I've read in a long time.” (Sy Montgomery, author of Birdology)
"In this important work, you’ll find stunning examples of crow emotionality and intelligence -- a triumphant vindication for those who have known all along that animals are capable of much more than they’re generally given credit for. . Crows dream as part of their learning process, for instance, and profile other individuals’ behavior and act accordingly. In many ways, their intelligence is equal to that of the great apes. Fascinating." (Stacey O'Brien, author of Wesley the Owl)
"Full of clear and detailed accounts of research...remarkable." (NYTimes)
"Angell’s illustrations of birds are exquisitely detailed... the book will instill in many readers a sense of wonder and curiosity at what these birds can do. An insightful look at some of our surprisingly capable feathered friends." (Kirkus)
"Amazing" (Seattle Times)
“Delightful… a series of intriguing stories and stunning illustrations that together reveal the sophisticated cognitive abilities of crows and their relationship with humans." (Nature)
"With its abundance of funny, awe-inspiring, and poignant stories, Gifts of the Crow portrays creatures who are nothing short of amazing. A testament to years of painstaking research and careful observation, this fully illustrated, riveting work is a thrilling look at one of nature's most wondrous creatures." (Guardian.co.uk)
"A great read, this book is a tribute to the little-known and underappreciated minds of the birds of the amazing corvid family. Serious and at times hilarious, it pulled me in with its telling anecdotes and scientific context. Most importantly, it acknowledges and explores the many complex similarities between crows' mental traits and our own." (Bernd Heinrich, author of Mind of the Raven)
“Gifts of the Crow is a compelling book. Filled with wonderful stories of regular people’s interactions with ravens, crows, and jays, it also cites engrossing scientific studies, reports on the field work of biologists, and offers detailed explanations of how the brain of a corvid actually works. I was fascinated.” (Suzie Gilbert, author of Flyaway: How A Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings)
About the Author
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.
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if you don't like crows, you'll at least end up respecting them after reading this. and you'll be far more informed about the natural world.
on the other hand, if you don't like going outside and don't care for nature and prefer casinos and malls and TV, then you're hopeless and you should just jump off a cliff.
a bit dense in its analysis/explanation of the neurobiology of bird/crow brains, but you can follow it, i think. i have an unfair advantage inasmuch as i have a solid medical/anatomy/physiology background.
For the past two weeks as he's read this book, I get daily reports of how interesting the book is, how amazing these birds are, and what great anecdotes the author includes. The crows really do bring "gifts" to people they like. And they remember people as well.
The book goes into a bit of the brain structure and in depth about genetically as well. When I read it, I may skip over the more technical and scientific aspects of the work. But I am happy to report that my observations about bird behavior, their habits and likes and fears, dovetails with what this author presents based on science and experiments, not just a layman's observations. I'm very pleased to report that my spouse has dropped the expression "bird brain" to indicate someone without cognitive powers. Now in our household there are two bird lovers.
When I have a chance to read it, I'll update it from my non-scientific point of view. But, for all the good conversation it has already stimulated, it is worth reading.
I am a crow person through and through. John Marzluff and his team's have written an interesting and entertaining book. Fitting for their subject bird.
I am waiting for the right person to give this copy to.