Many are exceedingly beautiful in colour, grace and form, whereas others are black and somewhat sinister in appearance.
Crows and Jays
In no other group of perching birds has evolution produced such a degree of variation, from the tiny Hume's Ground-Jay of the steppe-highlands of Tibet to the huge Thick-billed Raven of the mountains of Ethiopia. Some have had a long association with people and appear in tales of mythology and superstition, while others have been regarded as agricultural pests.
The great majority, however, remain largely unknown, their only contact with humanity being the destruction of their specialised habitats. As a consequence, more than 20 species are now regarded as internationally endangered, some of which are very poorly known.
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The 30 superb colour plates by Hilary Burn in this book depict them all; each plate is accompanied by an informative caption page summarising the criteria required to identify the species, alongside colour world distribution maps. Some of these birds, bearing such evocative names as the Banggai Crow, Mesopotamian Crow and Flores Crow, have never been illustrated before. The authoritative text by Steve Madge treats each species in depth, summarising identification techniques and concisely reviewing all aspects of corvid behaviour, distribution, population and taxonomy.
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