A list of books on Ravens and Crows that I've found helpful in my research. If you have any to add, please send an email with suggestions.

In the Company of Crows and Ravens

Marzluff, John M.|Angell Tony., and Tony Angell. In the Company of Crows and Ravens. Yale University Press, 2008.

Publisher Comments

From the cave walls at Lascaux to the last painting by Van Gogh, from the works of Shakespeare to those of Mark Twain, there is clear evidence that crows and ravens influence human culture. Yet this influence is not unidirectional, say the authors  of this fascinating book: people profoundly influence crow culture, ecology, and evolution as well.

John Marzluff and Tony Angell examine the often surprising ways that crows and humans interact. The authors contend that those interactions reflect a process of “cultural coevolution.” They offer a challenging new view of the human-crow dynamic; a view that may change our thinking not only about crows but also about ourselves.

Featuring more than 100 original drawings, the book takes a close look at the influences people have had on the lives of crows throughout history and at the significant ways crows have altered human lives. In the Company of Crows and Ravens illuminates the entwined histories of crows and people and concludes with an intriguing discussion of the crow-human relationship and how our attitudes toward crows may affect our cultural trajectory.

Gifts of the Crow

Marzluff, John M., and Tony Angell. Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave like Humans. Atria Paperback, 2013.

Publisher Comments

Stan Coren’s groundbreaking The Intelligence of Dogs meets Bernd Heinrich’s classic Mind of the Raven in this astonishing, beautifully illustrated look at the uncanny intelligence and emotions of crows.

New research indicates that crows are among the brightest animals in the world. And professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington John Marzluff has done some of the most extraordinary research on crows, which has been featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, and the Chicago Tribune, as well as on NPR and PBS. Now he teams up with artist and fellow naturalist Tony Angell to offer an in-depth look at these incredible creatures — in a book that is brimming with surprises.

Redefining the notion of “bird brain,” crows and ravens are often called feathered apes because of their clever tool-making and their ability to respond to environmental challenges, including those posed by humans. Indeed, their long lives, social habits, and large complex brains allow them to observe and learn from us and our social gatherings. Their marvelous brains allow crows to think, plan, and reconsider their actions. In these and other enthralling revelations, Marzluff and Angell portray creatures that are nothing short of amazing: they play, bestow gifts on people who help or feed them, use cars as nutcrackers, seek revenge on animals that harass them, are tricksters that lure birds to their deaths, and dream. The authors marvel at crows’ behavior that we humans would find strangely familiar, from delinquency and risk taking to passion and frolic. A testament to years of painstaking research, this fully illustrated, riveting work is a thrilling look at one of nature’s most wondrous creatures.

Mind of a Raven

Heinrich, Bernd. Mind of a Raven: An Investigation into the Mind of the Raven. Harper Collins, 1999.

Publisher Comments

In Mind of the Raven, Bernd Heinrich, award - winning naturalist, finds himself dreaming of ravens and decides he must get to the truth about this animal reputed to be so intelligent.

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 "raven father," as well as observing them in their natural habitat, studying their daily routines, and in the process painting a vivid picture of the world as lived by the ravens. At the heart of this book are Heinrich's love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation andanalysis, we become their intimates too.

Throughout history there has existed an extraordinary relationship between humans and ravens. Ravens, like early humans, are scavengers on the kills of great carnivores. As scavengers, ravens were associated with hunters they found in the north: wolves and, later, men. The trinity of wolf, man, and raven in the hunt is an extremely ancient one. In considering the appeal of the raven, Bernd Heinrich suspects that a meeting of the minds might reside in that hunting trinity.

Heinrich's passion for ravens has led him around the world in his research. Mind of the Raven takes you on an exotic journey--from New England to Germany, Montana to Baffin Island in the high Arctic--offering dazzling accounts of how science works in the field, filtered through the eyes of a passionate observer of nature.

Heinrich has a true gift; through his stories, his beautiful writing, illustrations, and photography, the ravens come alive. Each new discovery and insight into their behavior is thrilling to read. just as the title promises, the reader is given a rare glimpse into the mind of these wonderful creatures.Following the dictum of Leonardo da Vinci--"It is not enough to believe what you see. YOU Must also understand what you see"--Bernd Heinrich enables us to see the natural world through the eyes of a scientist. At once lyrical and scientific, Mind of the Raven is bound to be a modern classic.

Ravens in Winter

Heinrich, Bernd. Ravens in Winter. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2014.

Publisher Comments

A fascinating and important work of ornithology, which led E.O. Wilson to call it “one of the most interesting discoveries I’ve seen in animal sociobiology in years,” Ravens In Winter is a scientist’s impassioned study to understand the mysterious social habits of one of nature’s most formidable birds, the raven.

Why do ravens, generally understood to be solitary creatures, share food between each other during winter? This was the question Bernd Heinrich asked himself as he was observing another one of his prime research subjects, the highly social bumblebee. And it was during these trips to Maine, the site of much of his research, where he first noticed this “unusual” behavior of ravens. From an evolutionary perspective, the raven’s willingness to share food challenged conventional wisdom. There was no biological imperative, it seemed, to their communal spirit. The more Heinrich observed their habits, the more odd the bird’s behavior became. What started as mere curiosity turned into an impassioned research project, and Ravens In Winter, the first research of its kind, explores the fascinating biological puzzle of the raven’s rather unconventional social habits.

Crow Planet

Haupt, Lyanda Lynn. Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness. Back Bay Books, 2011.

Publisher Comments

There are more crows now than ever. Their abundance is both a sign of ecological imbalance and a generous opportunity to connect with the animal world. Crow Planet is a call to experience the wildlife in our midst, reminding us that we don't have to head to faraway places to encounter nature. Even in the cities and suburbs where we live we are surrounded by wildlife such as crows. Through observing them we enhance our appreciation of the world's natural order, and find our own place in it.

Haupt, a trained naturalist, uses science, scholarly research, myth, and personal observation to draw readers into the "crow stories" that unfold around us every day, culminating in book that transforms the way we experience our neighborhoods and our world.

The Language of Crows

Westerfield, Michael. The Language of Crows: the Crows.net Book of the American Crow. Ashford Press, 2011.

Publisher Comments

A dozen years of collaborative research on the language and culture of crows has been distilled down into an entertaining and highly informative new book, The Language of Crows: the crows.net book of the American crow. The book, which tells you just about everything you ever wanted to know about crows, is enlivened by dozens of actual observation reports that were submitted to the crows.net website over the years. Many of these reports illustrate seldom observed aspects of crow behavior, some of which are amazing and/or downright hilarious. In addition to major sections on crow language, life history and behavior, a large portion of The Language of Crows is devoted to human interactions with crows, ranging from creating backyard feeding stations to caring for "orphaned" and injured birds.