Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2006


Published in GREAT PLAINS RESEARCH 16:2 (Fall 2006). Copyright © 2006 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


This is an aptly titled book that deals in a fascinating manner with the biological and cultural intersections that have occurred between humans and the crow-like birds (Corvus spp.) throughout history. Today, even city dwellers are likely to have had some contacts with crows, as these crafty birds have increasingly been able to adapt to the complex world of city life in recent decades. As a youngster I knew crows only as highly elusive countryside birds, and I was constantly frustrated in my attempts to stalk them with my .22 rifle and collect a 25-cent bounty. Later, while doing field studies in Grand Teton National Park, I was similarly outwitted by hungry ravens when I tried to put out meat baits unobserved to attract and photograph wild pine martens. Only on reading this book did I suddenly realize that the word ravenous was derived from the substantial appetites of ravens.