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Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Corvus: A Life with Birds

Corvus: A Life with Birds - Esther Woolfson

A memoir, of sorts, with threads of hard science, poetry, mythology and philosophy interwoven through tales of the corvids (and a couple of parrot-family birds) that have shared the author's life and home.


The book was both hard to put down; engrossing, and at times a tiny bit tedious as Woolfson would sometimes go eyeball deep into exposition or poetic descriptions.  The anecdotes about Chicken (a rook), Spike (a European magpie) and at the end, Ziki (a crow) are the best parts of the book; her love, care and concern for these birds is front and center and I found myself in total sympathy with her angst about her birds' welfare.  I understand and share her concerns about whether her birds lives are unfulfilled, if healthier, and I also know my choices would ultimate be the same choices she's made, for better or worse.


A few questions came immediately to my mind as I started reading, and she addresses them about mid-way through the book.  They all center around hygiene and the threatened lack of it when allowing birds, especially birds the size of corvids, to roam free.  Here she gains even more admiration from me, because no way could I do it.  The cleaning she does ... i can't stand the idea of birds in cages, but neither am I a domestic goddess, so all in all, it's best that I have restricted my avian feather-family to chickens, who are by all appearances happy and healthy in their outdoor (but secure) taj ma-chook.


Even so, corvids fascinate me; I wouldn't be at all averse to making friends with the ones that come through my garden now and again.  


A great book for bird lovers and really, anyone who can appreciate that emotive intelligence is not restricted to just primates.