Ravens, from Pitt T. Maner III

February 3, 2011 |

 Raven minds are capable of all manner of sophisticated ploys and deceptions and signaling at a distance over time.

Here is a link to a 2010 film about the man who has spent quite some time amongst ravens and who has researched and written about their keen intelligence.

"AN UNCOMMON CURIOSITY: at home & in nature with BERND HEINRICH" follows Bernd Heinrich, one of the world's most insightful and original biologists, over the course of a year as he reflects on his past and shares his ideas about nature, science, art, beauty, and writing. Heinrich has been both a Guggenheim Fellow and a Harvard Fellow, and has been awarded two honorary doctorates. Considered by many to be today's finest naturalist author, Heinrich has written 18 books on various aspects of the natural world and published numerous scholarly papers, professional book reviews, book chapters, and articles for magazines and newspapers as diverse as the New York Times, Outside and Runners World. In addition to his scholarly work he is a world-class ultramarathoner currently holding a U.S. 100-mile track record.

Dylan Distasio adds: 

this isn’t happiness."

Although I have not had the pleasure of seeing this film (I didn't realize it was out there, thank you, Pitt!), I would also highly recommend his books, especially Mind of the Raven, since we are on the subject of birds. Raven's are arguably one of the smartest of all birds, and are able to solve puzzles that even many mammals would have trouble with.

I especially enjoyed his other book Winter World, about the ingenuity of animal survival about how various creatures make it through a tough, lean winter.

Totally unrelated, but on the subject of Scott's favorite nuisances, I saw a coyote walking on the snowy tracks of my Metro North train station earlier this week here in Connecticut. The air was cold and still and the moon and what I assume was Venus were up in the pre-dawn sky. The coyote was skulking nervously southwards down the opposite tracks. He stopped to stare at me for a few moments before resuming his nervous journey. I've also seen a beautiful red fox in the warmer months hanging around our birdfeeder looking for a quick meal. Quite a menagerie here in suburbia.





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