Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays

Overview


Birds have long been viewed as the archetypal featherbrains—beautiful but dumb. But according to naturalist Candace Savage, “bird brain,” as a pejorative expression, should be rendered obsolete by new research on the family of corvids: crows and their close relations.
The ancients who regarded these remarkable birds as oracles, bringers of wisdom, or agents of vengeance were on the right track, for corvids appear to have powers of abstraction, memory, and creativity that put ...
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Overview


Birds have long been viewed as the archetypal featherbrains—beautiful but dumb. But according to naturalist Candace Savage, “bird brain,” as a pejorative expression, should be rendered obsolete by new research on the family of corvids: crows and their close relations.
The ancients who regarded these remarkable birds as oracles, bringers of wisdom, or agents of vengeance were on the right track, for corvids appear to have powers of abstraction, memory, and creativity that put them on a par with many mammals, even higher primates. Bird Brains presents these bright, brassy, and surprisingly colorful birds in a remarkable collection of full-color, close-up photographs by some two dozen of the world’s best wildlife photographers.
Savage’s lively, authoritative text describes the life and behavior of sixteen representative corvid species that inhabit North America and Europe. Drawing on recent research, she describes birds that recognize each other as individuals, call one another by “name,” remember and relocate thousands of hidden food caches, engage in true teamwork and purposeful play, and generally exhibit an extraordinary degree of sophistication.

This intriguing examination of the lives and behaviors of the highly intelligent corvid family--crows, ravens, jackdaws, rooks, magpies, and jays--and the mythology and lore that surround them will appeal to all bird lovers. Profusely illustrated with 61 color photos.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871569561
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 380,065
  • Product dimensions: 9.92 (w) x 9.79 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Candace Savage is the author of numerous internationally acclaimed books of natural history, including The World of the Wolf, Wild Cats (Sierra Club, 1994) and Aurora: The Mysterious Northern Lights.
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2004

    superb book on overlooked subject

    This book is both beautiful and informative. It is an excellent introduction to the corvid family. I have shared it with teachers at the elementary school where I work.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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