Raven's Bookshelf

Over the years I have acquired several good books on the Corvidae family, and birds in general. Here are a few which I would recommend as part of a good corvidophile library:

Bird Brains by Candace Savage, published by Sierra Club Books in 1997. ISBN 0-87156-956-6
An excellent coffee-table book all about the corvidae family. Filled with rich photographs and amusing anecdotes, as well as facts and studies, it is difficult to put down once you've picked it up. I'd highly recommend it as a gift to any corvidophile who doesn't have one yet.

Ravens in Winter by Bernd Heinrich, published by Vintage Books in New York, 1991 (originally published by Summit Books in New York, in 1989). ISBN 0-679-73236-5
An incredible book, combining anecdotes, hypotheses, field studies, and observations by a world-renowned Raven researcher. Lots of great illustrations, too. Mind of the Raven by Bernd Heinrich, published by HarperCollins, 1999. ISBN 0-06-093063-2
An excellent book to follow Ravens in Winter. If you enjoyed the first, you'll enjoy this one!

American Indian Myths and Legends by Richard Erdoes and Alphonso Ortiz, published by Pantheon Books in New York, 1984. ISBN 0-394-74018-1
This thick book is filled to the seams with native tales, many of which are about Raven. Stories are grouped according to themes, and each story is accompanied by a brief note about which tribe it comes from.

Crow by Ted Hughes, first published by Faber and Faber in 1972. ISBN 0-571-09915-7
This thin book of poetry weaves words together in thought-provoking ways, tying Crow in with any number of weighty issues. A favorite among most hard-core corvidophiles I know, but the poetry style doesn't appeal to many who are only casually interested.

The Folklore of Birds by Laura C. Martin, published by The Globe Pequot Press in 1993. ISBN 1-56440-872-8
A fascinating look into the myths and lore behind most common birds. Martin pulls together all sorts of odd facts and well known stories, as well as explaining the origins of many common phrases related to various birds, enriching the understanding of even a casual aviophile.

The American Crow and Common Raven by Lawrence Kilham, published by Texas A&M University Press in 1989. ISBN 0-89096-466-1
Filled with observations and anecdotes about crows and ravens. The book reads something like a field journal, and something like a personal diary. An excellent resource for anyone who wants to get to know the day-to-day quirks of these corvids without having to hide in the bushes for days on end to do so.

Peterson Field Guides: Western Birds by Roger Tory Peterson published by the Houghton Mifflin Company in 1990. ISBN 0-395-51424-X
A nice pocketbook for general reference, about all sorts of western birds. Not one of the most thorough, but it does a pretty good job of identifying and commenting on most of the birds which share the skies with the corvidae family. It also contains pages of full-color pictures comparing various birds which are easily mistaken for eachother. Excellent for when friends ask "Hey - I hear you're really into crows. Well, I saw this tiny bird the other day, all black. What do you think it was?"

Crow by Boria Sax published by Reaktion Books Ltd. in 2003. ISBN 1-86189-194-6
A slightly larger than pocket-sized book, this volume is packed with fascinating information about crows, and other members of the crow family. It shows them as they were seen through the eyes of many cultures, across the course of time. The scientific information included at the beginning is succinct, and provides an excellent backdrop for understanding these fine creatures, and why humans have such an odd relationship with them. Throughout the book there are illustrations, pictures, photos and reproductions of ancient pieces depicting the crow and its cousins. I highly recommend it to any corvid enthusiast.

Many of these books can be ordered online through Amazon Books

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Last modified May 2, 2004