FREE PDF ⚑ Ravensong: A Natural And Fabulous History Of Ravens And Crows ♌

This was kind of a disappointment The first half of the book is comprised of Native American legends and folklore regarding crows and ravens, and the second half is information about crow and raven behavior I enjoyed the legends, but I was dubious about the lack of context for many of the stories Feher Elston seems to imply that crows and ravens play the same or nearly the same role in all Native American cultures, and at times I felt that this similarity might be exaggerated Feher Elston also frequently goes a bit new agey in both this section and the scientific section, which made me cagey about accepting her information on corvid behavior at face value All in all, this was an ok book, just not quite what I was looking for, I guess. FREE PDF ⚖ Ravensong: A Natural And Fabulous History Of Ravens And Crows ♴ Birds Of Mystery, Intelligence, And Curiosity, Ravens And Crows Have Fascinated Humans For Untold Centuries In This First In A Series Of Beautifully Illustrated Books That Celebrate The Power And Beauty Of The Animal Kingdom, Catherine Feher Elston Considers The Raven In The Contexts Of Mythology, Folklore, History, And Science From The Raven S Role As Trickster In Native American Religion To His Ability To Captivate Ornithologists And Biologists With His Intriguing Behaviors, Ravensong Pays Tribute To The Elegance And Grandeur Of Two Of America S Most Ubiquitous Avian Species Ravens are my favorite birds So that means this is a totally biased book review since the book features ravens Any book that features ravens automatically get a star just for showcasing ravens This book I liked so much that I bought it twice once the original paperback edition which I lost through life s misadventures and the 10th anniversary edition.If you are looking for a book just on how ravens behave then you are screwed Go elsewhere This book not only looks at raven behavior centering on the common raven but looks at ravens throughout folklore and tradition It especially focuses on the raven s significance to many Native American tribes.It s a nice blend of the subjective and the objective And did I mention it features my favorite birds ever Catherine brings not only the natural history of these beloved and revered birds, she also does an amazing job of bringing their intelligence and humor to life Adding the folklore and legends that make this book a great read for those who adore these shiny black winged spirits. Not a bad book for someone wanting a nice overview of raven and crow myths culture Half of the book consists of PNW stories from different First Nations peoples, the other half touches briefly on raven crow behaviour in the wild in captivity A very quick read and contains some enjoyable tidbits. A brilliant award winning work that educates and entertains A must read for Nature fans. Liked it for its mix of mythology and natural history. Ravens are not just Corvus corax, a species of bird that can be analyzed in terms of taxonomy The raven, one of the most intelligent of all birds, is also a bird that has a particularly strong presence in myth, religion, literature, and folklore And Catherine Feher Elston takes pains to emphasize the mythic and mystical dimensions of the raven in her book Ravensong.Feher Elston, who has written extensively about Native American issues, places a strong focus on the role of the raven in Native American life in this Natural and Fabulous History of Ravens and Crows the book s subtitle The book s four sections focus on the raven in myth the raven in the time when a large part of North America went through a transition and transformation from Native American to United States sovereignty the raven as seen from the perspectives of science and law and the raven as seen in today s world.The raven in Native American myth is sometimes a benevolent spirit conveying knowledge sometimes a mischievous trickster and sometimes, a dangerous bringer of discord and death, as with the wizards and witches known as Kalanu Ahyeli ski, Raven Mockers These most powerful of sorcerers robbed the ill or dying of their lives, adding these years to their own After killing their victim, Raven Mockers cut out the heart and ate it no one could see them and their lives left no scar pp 51 52 As an illustration of that mythic archetype, Feher Elston helpfully provides a story of a young Cherokee hunter who enters the house of an old couple, discovers that his hosts are Raven Mockers, and then must use his wits in order to find a way of surviving this dangerous encounter.The chapter on Transition and Transformation includes a thoughtful treatment of Edgar Allan Poe s poem The Raven 1845 Feher Elston describes how Poe lived in an era of slavery, of brewing civil war, of the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny and the building of railroads across the continent pp 99 100 a time, in short, of Anglo American industrial hegemony inexorably overtaking the richer, purer, mystical culture of the Native Americans Yet Feher Elston seems to like the ways in which Poe did not fit into that painfully white industrial world she appreciates Poe s dark mysticism and his affinity for mysticism and for the occult, and writes approvingly of how Poe clearly understood ambivalent Euro American attitudes towards ravens, but he also understood the birds innate intelligence and dignity p 98 Ravensong is not a scientific study of the raven, or a book of the kind that a raven studying ornithologist like Bernd Heinrich might write The nature loving, anti rationalist, somewhat New Age ish spirit in which Ravensong is composed comes forth in a number of portions of the Science and Law portion of the book, as when Feher Elston comments on the impact of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, passed by the United States Congress in 1972 The treaty makes it unlawful for anyone to kill, capture, collect, possess, buy, sell, trade, ship, import, or export any of the many bird species covered under the act Where this potentially impacts ravens, Feher Elston suggests, is that the practical result of the law is that anyone who stops to help a wounded bird without first obtaining a federal and or state permit is violating the law A compassionate person, by taking in and assisting in the healing and rehabilitation of an injured protected bird is in fact a criminal p 150 , if that person has not acquired the necessary paperwork Federal and state wildlife officials might point out in reply that a member of the general public, no matter the depth of his or her compassion and good intentions, might actually do a great deal of harm if that person s humane wish to help a wild bird in distress were not informed by a rigorous degree of knowledge regarding ornithology and the proper care of injured wild animals But the depth of Feher Elston s humanitarian concern for the situation of ravens and other forms of wildlife is never in question Ravensong was published in 1991, in the year of the Persian Gulf War, and therefore it is not surprising that Feher Elston concludes her book by reflecting on that war s dire impact on the ecosystem of the region in which the war was fought Invoking the importance of Great Raven in the religious and cultural systems of many Native American nations, Feher Elston calls the reader s attention to the manner in which Saddam Hussein s defeated Iraqi forces opened oil conduits and released millions of gallons of oily death into the gulf Humans at war with one another over economic and political spheres of influence declared war on Raven s world as well p 185 In Feher Elston s reading, humankind may well destroy itself through its mad, irrational war on the natural world that sustains all human beings But if it does so, Great Raven will be there to pick up the piecesUltimately, the world will be cleansed, the natural order restored And Great Raven will someday traverse a vast beach, hopping and flapping and stretching his beautiful wings Perhaps, after pausing to eat some delicious tidbit on the shore to assuage his enormous appetite, Raven will feel bored and lonely And then, Raven will bend down, and with his mountain maker s hands, create new playmates, carefully crafting and sculpting new creatures, painting them in new colors, building another world, againp 186 Feher Elston writes about the raven with energy and affection, and the illustrations by Lawrence Ormsby capture the intelligence and the quirky spirit of the raven Published by Northland Publishing, a now defunct Flagstaff, Arizona based publisher that specialized in Southwestern regional material, Ravensong provides an interesting and engaging look at a bird whose power to fascinate never seems to diminish. Uneven but ultimately interesting collection of folklore and mythology surrounding Corvids Some research I am doing for a potential short story or novel is taking me in some very strange reading directions, as the crow flies.