Those of you who've followed this blog for a while know that I enjoy birds and watching birds. And you might remember that of the birds, perhaps my favorites are the clever members of the corvid species; the crows, jays and ravens.
These guys are the Cantonese of the bird world - smart, aggressive, adaptable and ubiquitous. And now a young woman from Seattle named Lyanda Haupt has written a new book about them and their success in a human-dominated world.
"Crow Planet" is her personal observations of the corvids, and especially the more human-adapted species of corvids such as the American Crow of her home town.
I haven't yet read her work, but the reviewers suggest that she covers some informative and entertaining ground, including her own personal observations of the crows of West Seattle. Her blog, "The Tangled Nest" includes her ruminations on the birds as well as recipes, urban gardening tips and an embarassment of other notions. Lyanda seems to be a very Northwest sort of Hip Urban Mama, full of crunchy granola wisdom and jam cooking hints. The reveiwers also noted that the reach of her prose seems to exceed her grasp, for the same reasons - which is not by any means a reason to avoid her work.
In a lot of ways people are very crow: we tend to be fascinated by cheap and glittery objects, we take what we want rather than just what we need, and we tend to hold our grudges long after they benefit us. So I'd recommend her new book to anyone looking for an insight in both crows, and people.