April 24, 2013

Intelligent birds

As the Crow Flies
by Sheila Keenan
illustrated by Kevin Duggan

Real crow behaviour informs this rhyming picture book, which takes a close look at crows in the city. From the brightness of day to the darkness of night, the book ends on a dramatic, effective note.

Quite well done.

Crows! Strange and Wonderful
by Laurence Pringle
illustrated by Bob Marstall

Crows are among the smartest birds on earth. They use tools, have a complex language, and enjoy play. Informative text and detailed pictures introduce young readers to these fascinating birds.

Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
by John Marzluff & Tony Angell

As you can tell by the title, this is a scientific examination of crow behavior and their interconnectedness with humans. Stories of crow delinquency, playfulness, passion, wrath, risk taking, and awareness are funny and charming. However, the authors' discussions about the corvid's neurological and hormonal systems interrupt and weigh down the narrative. Many readers will also be challenged by the scientific jargon.

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