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Mind of the Raven" is thought-provoking, comfortable reading
am 18. Juni 1999
To compare this book to Heinrich's "A Year in the Maine Woods", is to compare apples to oranges. "Mind of the Raven" is more, a continuation of the thought-provoking analysis the author began in his earlier work, "Ravens in Winter". "Mind of the Raven" carries us many steps farther in understanding, as an intriguing account of the on-going evaluation of these impressive birds' mental agility and singular place in nature. Heinrich takes us not only to the woods of Maine, but to Germany, California, the Artic, and Yellowstone Park, while he examines those qualities which define Ravens as a unique but adaptive species in a changing environment. Heinrich shares with us the scientific and personal experiences which reveal Ravens both as individuals, and as members of a complex but flexible social order scientists are only begining to understand. "Mind of the Raven" is not a dry, technical journal, and while not "light" reading, it is certainly comfortable reading. Heinrich's writing style is refreshingly "open". The book is, in the end, as revealing about the process of scientific fieldwork, success and failure, and the perserverance of an inquisitive mind as it is about Ravens. I would recommend "Mind of the Raven" to anyone interested in the continuing studies of animal intellect and behavior. Additionally, I heartily recommend it to mature young adults with an exceptional interest in these study areas. Heinrich's book reveals that while travel, and many hours of observation in "tight places" may be required to answer particular questions within a given field of science, a great deal may also be learned in our own backyards, with patience and an eye for detail.