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» » Corvus: A Life with Birds
Corvus: A Life with Birds e-book


Esther Woolfson






Biological Sciences

ePub size:

1544 kb

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Granta Books (August 1, 2008)





Corvus: A Life with Birds e-book

by Esther Woolfson

Corvus: A Life with Birds.

Corvus: A Life with Birds. I'd heard extracts from the book read on BBC Radio 4 while driving. I later borrowed it from Tom, and found it a rich, enjoyable read. I was amused and I love black birds of all kinds - blackbirds, of course, with their cheery whistling, yellow beaks, and bright inquisitive eyes, but also crows, rooks and ravens.

Only 10 left in stock (more on the way). But are these lifestyles really so peculiar? Should we not applaud them? ―Orion Magazine.

One spring, many years ago, Esther Woolfson's daughter rescued a fledgling rook. That rook, named Chicken, quickly established herself as part of the family, and other birds, including an irascible cockatiel and a depressive parrot, soon followed. But it was the corvids - members of the crow family - who amazed Woolfson with their personality and their capacity for affection

Corvus by Esther Woolfson is a remarkable book about the birds she has has had living with her; birds that were .

Corvus by Esther Woolfson is a remarkable book about the birds she has has had living with her; birds that were found out of the nest that would not have survived if she had not taken them in. 'Corvus' is a genus of birds including jackdaws, ravens, crows, magpies and rooks. Although the book is mainly about the rook, Chicken, Esther Woolfson also writes in detail about natural history, the desirability or otherwise of keeping birds, and a plethora of facts about birds, their physiology, mechanics of flight, bird song and so on. As with all good non-fiction Corvus has an extensive index, which gives a good idea of the scope of the book.

This summer countless mercy missions will have been attempted across the country as children run home cradling handfuls of down. Big beseeching eyes and pleading orange gapes will have been fussed over. Saucers of milk and newspaper-lined cardboard boxes will have been prepared. But almost all these baby bird rescues will have failed. The RSPB's advice is always to leave apparently abandoned or fallen nestlings alone; avian parents, not fostering humans, are what.

Corvus, a life with birds. com User, June 29, 2010. I thought this book was really well written

Corvus, a life with birds. I thought this book was really well written. Just started Corvus: A Life With Birds and can't put it down! The writing is rich, as if Esther Woolfson is having a conversation with the reader or telling an engaging story at a garden party. Information about animals is secondary to her description of their personalities; both done very well.

Maureen Beattie reads from Esther Woolfson's story of her life with birds. Get closer to books with in-depth articles and radio & TV highlights. By genre: Factual Life Stories. Factual Science & Nature.

Corvus: A Life With Birds (Paperback). Esther Woolfson (author). One spring, many years ago, Esther Woolfson's daughter rescued a fledgling rook. Please provide me with your latest book news, views and details of Waterstones’ special offers. But it was the corvids - members of the crow family - who amazed Woolfson with their personality and their capacity for affection.

Esther Woolfson has been fascinated by corvids, the bird group that includes crows, rooks, magpies and ravens, since her daughter rescued a fledgling rook sixteen years ago. That rook - named Chicken - has lived with the family ever since. Other birds have also taken their place in the household - a magpie, starling, parrot and the inhabitants of an outdoor dovehouse. But above all, it has been the corvids (a talking magpie named Spike, Chicken the rook, and, recently, a baby crow named Ziki) that she has formed the closest attachments with, amazed by their intelligence, personality and capacity for affection.Living with birds has allowed Woolfson to learn aspects of bird behaviour which would otherwise have been impossible to know - the way they happily become part of the structure of a family, how they communicate, their astonishing empathy. We hear about Chicken's fears and foibles: her hatred of computers and other machines and her love of sitting on Woolfson's knee in the evening and having her neck scratched; the birds' elaborate bathing rituals, springtime broodiness, and tendency to cache food in the most unlikely places. Woolfson tells the darker story of way corvids have always been objects of superstition and persecution; and with the lightest of touches, she weaves in the science of bird intelligence, evolution, song and flight throughout. Her account of her experiences is funny, touching and beautifully written, and gives fascinating insights into the closeness human beings can achieve with wild creatures.
The book is a dance of two partners, one being intellect, the other experience circling the subject matter of life with birds, particularly Corvids.

The author winds herself and the reader up with flowing forays in avian knowledge garnered from her personal studies to then compare them with her own experiential observations not as a researcher but rather as a family member and caretaker of her avian home-mates.

I like the book in it’s entirety particularly the wit and humor inherent in the author’s perspectives. Though like her described rook who soaks his dry food in water, the book does feel like it could use a bit of the same treatment in one or two of the intellectual passages. But the avian experience pieces, often including broader thoughts and themes are precious enough to more than compensate.

Some more scholarly perhaps will see her views to be flawed, heretical even, but it would not be surprising to see science in it’s slow crawl towards enlightenment discover what is already in these pages.

Well written, enjoyable, caustically humorous in parts, and well worth the read.
The author narrates her history with keeping birds starting innocently enough with doves, continuing through a few parrots and going on to include wild birds brought to her for 'saving'. She discusses bird evolution, the possible covert evolution of thought and intelligence between humans and birds and describes the love/hate natural history of the UK with the corvus family of birds.

Well written, very factual, descriptive and interesting account of a dedicated birdkeeper which also gives a glimpse into life in Scotland in an upper class family.

Very much enjoyed the book.
The author captured me from word one. She weaves animal anecdotes and bird facts into interesting and touching stories of her family and their daily life in Scotland. Her love for birds and nature in general is evident in every sentence. This is a delightful book. She describes the birds she cares for in anthropomorphic terms, but that doesn't bother me - I do the same when asked to describe our resident household birds and the birds I've cared for temporarily with animal rescue and rehabilitation. The book is easy to read and very uplifting.
I loved reading this book and have gone on to buy several more copies to share with family and friends. Rarely do I read a book that I think, this has changed or truly enhanced my life. After reading Corvus, I see so many birds differently and appreciate them far more. As I read the book I thought also about the author and how lovely she must be.
Beautiful, empathic, erudite prose. More for animal lovers than science geeks, but I am both, and satisfied at both levels.
ᵀᴴᴱ ᴼᴿᴵᴳᴵᴻᴬᴸ
I am very interested in birds, in general, and have had a particular fondness for crows ever since many of them died in our area due to West Nile Virus. This book was recommended to me by a wildlife rehabilitation specialist who raises several American crows for educational purposes. The writer, who lives in Scotland, recounts her experiences with rescuing and raising several types of wild crows/ravens/magpies. Her style is quite literary, and frankly, I found it difficult to read and not nearly as enjoyable as I had hoped. It takes her a while to get to the point, with convoluted stories and long, run-on sentences. I'm also never exactly sure what kind of bird she is describing. Still and all, some of her anecdotes of living with these intelligent birds indoors are amusing, or at least interesting.
A beautiful story about her amazing birds. If you like ravens, magpies, etc., you will enjoy this book a lot!
This is a delightful book written by a very talented, entertaining author. She describes living with her pet rook, magpie, and parrots as well as the evolution of birds and their behavior in the wild. It is a suprisingly entertaining book as well as educational. It is a must for bird lovers.

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