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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

Corvus: A Life with Birds

Corvus: A Life with Birds - Esther Woolfson Corvus is the story of Esther Woolfson's relationship with a number of birds which have been brought to her for one reason or another, usually because they were ejected prematurely from their nests. In particular it focuses on two of them: Spike, a magpie, and Chicken a rook.

The birds become part of Esther Wolfson's family and she of theirs. She describes in intimate and poignant detail, the process whereby they get to know one another, they ways in which they communicate, and, above all, the intelligence and emotional vagaries of the birds.

At the same time the reader learns a great deal about the biology of birds, the processes of flight, of moulting, of migration, and of nesting, as well as the long and often inglorious history of man's relationship with birds.

I found it both fascinating and moving. At the end of the book I desperately wanted a rook of my own.