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Preview — Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich
Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
Much like a sleuth, Heinrich involves us in his quest, letting one clue lead to the next. But as animals can only be spied on by getting quite close Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a ...more
Fascinating things you learn in books that may save your life one day if you are stuck in the woods (or not).
Now I know how to climb a tree so tall that the branches don't even begin until 60-80 feet up.
1. Attach a fine monofilament line, anchored to the ground, to an arrow which you fire over the crown of the tree.
2. When the arrow is fired, standing in the original place, attach a much thicker line to the line you had fixed to the ground.
3. Go to where the arrow is now, ...more
I picked this book up after seeing a particularly social raven taunt some tourists on Vancouver island. What a weird bird.
Each chapter is laid out as an experiment. Can ravens recognized individual humans? Heinrich approaches the ravens in his aviary in a Halloween mask, i ...more
This book far exceeded my expectations. Heinrich, a biologist by profession, presents insights into ravens' behavior garnered from his decade-long study of the wolf-birds. It was amazing the lengtbs that Heinrich would go to get a close g ...more
I have to say I had never given a lot of thought to ravens. I remember seeing some in a cage at the Tower of London back in 2000, and of course I'm familiar with Edgar Allan P ...more
"With ravens, the line between interpretation and fact is commonly a thin one, but as Mark Pavelka, who studied ravens for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, said, "With other animals you can usually throw out 90 percent of the stories you hear about them as exaggerations. With ravens, it's the opposite. No matter how strange or amazing the story, chances are pretty good that at ...more
A great scientific study of Ravens. The observations gave me a clear picture of the animal that played a crucial role in human history, inspired trickster myths, and stirred our collective imagination. I read this book along with Lewis Hyde's Trickster Makes this World, and they are excellent companions. Hyde's book is an excellent exploration of trickster mythology, but he does not credit the animals spirits themselves for enough inspiration and interplay th ...more
But he never anthropomorphizes the ravens; instead, he sees them as the unique entities that they are, perfectly adapted to what nature demands of them. Yes, he loves his captive birds, but respects their "otherness," never seeing them as cunning little pets. Bravo!
Heinrich gives a very accurate, unromanticized look into the rigors of field observations, especially in harsh climate ...more
This book is good for getting folks interested in a fascinating species. For getting people to look beyond themselves at another species. I just don't agree with the branding of these observations as full fledged research. One sample subject is not enough. Granted th ...more
He writes like a scientist, which is to be expected, however it doesn't make for fluid reading.
In the final chapters, I felt he wrote defensively--like he had to prove that this text was worthy of respect in the scientific community.
I loved it and found it tedious all at the same time.
The downsides in this book are the abundance of facts and figures in certain parts that make for slightly dry reading and the infusion of Bernd Heinrich's evolutionary ideas. It is questionable how some ...more
There are so many interesting stories about ravens, a bird I knew nothing about. But much more fascinating is the glimpse into the mind of Bernd Heinrich, the raven-obsessed author. And ...more
Not that there's anything wrong with pop science, of course, but sometimes you want to stretch out and really learn something for a change. Mind of the Raven is the perfect ...more
Mind of the Raven: Do Ravens Think?
Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich illustrates the interactions between ravens and the world through the studies Heinrich conducts using his own raven brood. Ravens have been a concept of mythology since the ancient Vikings and have played roles in the developments of many cultures throughout the world. They have always been perceived as smart animals that are constantly “snooping around” looking for evil. In many cultures they have been associa...more
A note: There are things scientists do that the regular population doesn't do. If we did, we'd be obsessive compulsives or just plain weirdoes or likely in jail for animal torture. Books for the lay person need to be sensitive to these facts.
Even though I was raised in a scientific household, and I'm a hunter and fisherman, I was not thril ...more
He is the author of many books including Winter World, Ravens in Winter, Mind of the Raven and Why We Run. Many of his books focus on the natural world just outside the cabin door.
Heinrich has wo ...more