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Book Review: Lyanda Lynn Haupt's Crow Planet

I have to say that this didn't turn out to be the book I thought it would be when I started reading it. I was hoping for a book full of anecdotes about crows, along with some scientific crow facts, all leavened with a dash of environmental theory. All these elements are in the book, but in the wrong proportion for my tastes.

I really liked her descriptions of crows collecting objects for seemingly artistic reasons, of crow funerals and of crows at play. Also enjoyable were such asides as this one about bird vision:

"Birds have sharper vision than other vertebrates and see, on average, two to three times better than humans ... Most birds can see into the ultraviolet or near-ultraviolet range, making the world, for a bird, a vivid glowing place."

She talks a lot about common ideas of wildness, about the ethics of being a naturalist, and about how we have this mistaken notion of a separation between where we live and wilderness. While I totally buy into her arguments that we need to rethink our relationship to nature and that we need new eyes to see the wilderness that surrounds us (even in a city), I must confess that I chose to read this books for other reasons.

Fortunately, she includes a bibliography, which may point me toward the book I really wanted to read when I chose this one.

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December 2017

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