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Internationally celebrated nature writer Candace Savage presents the Corvid family – surprisingly bright, brassy, and colorful birds – in a remarkable collection of full-colour, close-up photographs by some of the world's best wildlife photographers. 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 is an unmodified reprint of the 1997 revised edition which featured a new introduction by the author.
Candace Savage is the author of more than two dozen books, including A Geography of Blood, which won the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, and Crows: Encounters with the Wise Guys of the Avian World.
"Savage's hypnotic, intimate lens takes us so close to these birds we can count the feathers on their stomachs, peer down the huge red gullets of their chicks and marvel at their talky, squawky, wondrously communicative throats and beaks."
– San Francisco Chronicle
"With powerful photographic documentation, naturalist Candace Savage examines the lives and behaviors of the highly intelligent corvid family."
"Here is an excellent gathering of intelligence, expert opinion and bird observations, with color photos creating a lavish backdrop."