Corvus: A Life with Birds
Ever since her daughter rescued a fledgling rook years ago, Esther Woolfson has been fascinated with corvids, the bird group that includes crows, rooks, magpies, and ravens. Today, the rook, named Chicken, is a member of the Woolfson family, along with a talking magpie named Spike, a baby crow... show more
Ever since her daughter rescued a fledgling rook years ago, Esther Woolfson has been fascinated with corvids, the bird group that includes crows, rooks, magpies, and ravens. Today, the rook, named Chicken, is a member of the Woolfson family, along with a talking magpie named Spike, a baby crow named Ziki, a starling, a parrot, and others. From their elaborate bathing rituals to their springtime broodiness and tendency to cache food in the most unlikely places, these corvids share a bond with humans that one might never have imagined before reading this book.Letting her experience speak for itself, Woolfson likens the fears and foibles of corvids to those of humans, taking into account the science of bird intelligence, evolution, song, and flight. She highlights their big personalities and capacity for affection: Chicken hates computers and machines, while she loves evening neck scratches on Woolfson’s knee. It is through this intimate lens that Woolfson invites us to reconsider the kind of creature capable of being man’s best friend.
Publish date: March 30th 2010
Pages no: 352
Edition language: English
, Natural History
, Science Nature
A memoir, of sorts, with threads of hard science, poetry, mythology and philosophy interwoven through tales of the corvids (and a couple of parrot-family birds) that have shared the author's life and home. The book was both hard to put down; engrossing, and at times a tiny bit tedious as Woolfson ...
Birds have arrived, the chosen and the unwanted, the damaged, the accidentally displaced from nests. They have stayed, or gone, leaving, all of them, their own determined avian imprint, entirely unrelated to size or species, and with each has been established an enduring sense of connection, one tha...
Corvus is the story of Esther Woolfson's relationship with a number of birds which have been brought to her for one reason or another, usually because they were ejected prematurely from their nests. In particular it focuses on two of them: Spike, a magpie, and Chicken a rook.The birds become part of...
An enjoyable and erudite memoir of Woolfson's life with birds. She does not confine her love, nor her writing, to the corvids- though they do make up the bulk of the book. Some of the gritty realities of sharing a space with very intelligent birds made me re-think my desire for a magpie- caching min...