The American Crow & Common Raven

The American Crow & Common Raven

3.0 2
by Lawrence Kilham, Joan Waltermire
     
 
Lawrence Kilham was a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union, professor of microbiology emeritus of Dartmouth Medical School, and a distinguished virologist. He passed away in 2000.

"This definitive study is a gem for both American birders and serious ornithologists." --The Indianapolis News

" . . . remarkable behaviors are reviewed and discussed with a rich

Overview

Lawrence Kilham was a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union, professor of microbiology emeritus of Dartmouth Medical School, and a distinguished virologist. He passed away in 2000.

"This definitive study is a gem for both American birders and serious ornithologists." --The Indianapolis News

" . . . remarkable behaviors are reviewed and discussed with a rich assortment of anecdotes from the author's 8,000 hours of field observations. . . . This book explains especially the social systems of these birds, from cooperative breeding to predator mobbing. Difficult topics such as 'play' and 'thinking' in crows are interestingly and critically presented. . . . an appealing volume." --Choice

" . . . his book is one of the best, most informative and engaging ones yet written about how some of these birds live, think, and feel. Kilham on crows compares favorably with Tinbergen on gulls, Goodall on chimpanzees, and Lorenz on dogs and jackdaws." --Smithsonian

"The book has style and is outstanding in many ways. . . . His method is remarkable: He refuses to intervene and does not even mark individual birds. His intensive observation of birds used to the observer, however, allow him to follow the behavior and fate of particular individuals carefully. --Journal für Ornithologie
"His interpretations and descriptions are also remarkable. --Journal für Ornithologie
. . . Study of the text promises to be profitable because the author is well-read and displays an outstanding style. Enjoyment of his book is enhanced by its makeup with generous layout and black-and-white pictures. . . . The book could be an incentive for European scientists to re-examine the social systems of crows and other corvids, keeping in mind different conditions of habitat and interpreting results in the light of evolutionary-biological hypotheses. Kilham himself takes an initial step in this regard in a special summarizing chapter." --Journal für Ornithologie

"Kilham's independent and somewhat unorthodox approach to research has particular value to amateur birders . . . The many citations in the text and an extensive list of references suggest Kilham has much confidence in his opinions and the 'chance observation' facts he reports. Readers will be motivated to rethink some conventional wisdom on how best to pursue studies of animal behavior. His research activities should inspire other retirees." --Jack DeForest

"Kilham's work is a testament to the importance of amateurs to ornithology. . . . Amateurs will certainly enjoy his stories of interesting behaviors and exploits with pet corvids. The illustrations are wonderful and Kilham's insights into crow and raven sociality are important." --Auk

"If you are interested in bird behaviour, you will enjoy reading this book. Joan Waltermire's sketches nicely complement the text." --C. Stuart Houston

"This is a well-written, thoughtful, beautifully illustrated book that was a joy to read. . . . Kilham is to be congratulated for providing us with a greater level of insight into crows and ravens (particularly the former) than we previously had." --Quarterly Review of Biology

" . . . simple, clear descriptive prose, a pleasure to read and fullof fascinating details of American crow and raven life. . . . This should be a prime book for collectors . . . beautifully illustrated in dramatic pen-and-ink drawings that even convey the glossiness of crows' and ravens' plumage." --Books about Birds

" . . . an unusually detailed and sometimes inspiring account of the lives of the American Crow Corvus brachhrhrnchos and the Raven C. corax." --British Birds

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Drawing on his own experiences in Florida and New England, with reference to published literature, Kilham describes many hitherto unknown aspects of the behavior of crows and ravens. He particularly emphasizes the cooperation in food gathering (some call it theft) and storage, breeding, nesting, and defense. Includes wonderful drawings by Joan Waltermire. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780890964668
Publisher:
Texas A&M University Press
Publication date:
10/01/1990
Series:
W. L. Moody Jr. Natural History Series, #10
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
270
Sales rank:
760,159
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.57(d)

Meet the Author

Lawrence Kilham was a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union, professor of microbiology emeritus of Dartmouth Medical School, and a distinguished virologist.  He passed away in 2000.

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The American Crow & Common Raven 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Even as an avid, amateur birder, this isn't the sort of book I'd sit and read cover to cover, as I might with one written in the style of, say, Kenn Kaufman or Allan Cruickshank. However, Kilham's book provided me with a wealth of information during the four months I spent observing the crow's nest being built, and the three crows being raised in it, directly outside my urban window. Even the most seemingly inconsequential aspect of the behavior of the adults and the nestlings was just as Kilham described it, and I turned to his book for specific information almost daily. I had the pleasure of writing my own nature notes as I followed the progress of this crow family, from hatchlings to nestlings, to the day the fledglings took their first tentative hops out of the nest, and right up to their first full flight, when they finally took off to Central Park. Kilham's book opened my eyes to fascinating nesting habits and feeding behaviors, in accurate ornithological terms, and I learned precisely when to anticipate certain developments of the young crows. This book helped me to not only understand what to look for but also how to be more intelligently aware of what I was seeing when I saw it, in a far more educated way than I otherwise would have. My powers of observation were greatly enhanced by reading this book, and I would recommend it highly to anyone with an interest in studying bird behavior. The illustrations by Waltermire were superb and conveyed a real appreciation and affection for her subjects, both birds and mammals.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book seems to be writen as though the authors field notes were just taken straight to print. This book is not for the interested amature, but more of a collection of observations written in a very dry manner