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Publisher's Summary

Bernd Heinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven. But as animals can be spied on only by getting quite close, Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a "raven father", as well as observing them in their natural habitat. He studies their daily routines and, in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens' world.

At the heart of this book are Heinrich's love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation and analysis we become their intimates, too. Heinrich's passion for ravens has led him around the world in his research. Mind of the Raven follows an exotic journey - from New England to Germany, and from Montana to Baffin Island in the High Arctic - offering dazzling accounts of how science works in the field, filtered through the eyes of a passionate observer of nature. Each new discovery and insight into raven behavior is thrilling, at once lyrical and scientific.

©1999 Bernd Heinrich (P)2016 Tantor

What listeners say about Mind of the Raven

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  • Diana
  • 09-11-2016

16+ hours of Ravens, great stories & narration

This is a very enjoyable listen. I figure the feedback is high because the people who will buy this book and spend more than 16 hours listening about ravens are people who are interested in ravens. I am on some Facebook groups where some people openly speak about hating ravens and shooting them. Personally, I don't mind if ravens take some of my chicken eggs, and when a pair of ravens brings their young here every year, it is fun to watch the youngsters learn about flying, watch their awkward landings, and their parents show them how to drink from my horses' water barrels. I have had a raven do barrel rolls as it flew toward me, on different days, and learned from this audio book that they can do that and more.

I was surprised to learn that ravens can live for decades, can even be older than 50 years. Plus, a lot more about them. The stories of individual and groups of ravens studied were great, and all the conclusions that the author had come to about behavior and physical abilities were very interesting. The things biologists think to do to watch what an animal will do in reaction are fascinating. Sometimes funny.

A previous book about birds in general, called Bird Sense, made me think hard about what biologists have to do to study birds. Lots of climbing of trees or cliffs for one thing. Or hiding in awful places for long hours. Mind of the Raven had more climbing, hiding, and wearing strange outfits to see what the birds were doing or would do. There was a lot of handling of dead animals to feed the ravens. Biology is interesting, but doesn't look easy.

Norman Dietz, the narrator, did a great job. No dry documentary narration here, he has a sense of humor and there were parts in this book where I laughed out loud. If you enjoy humor, listen to the Patrick McManus books Norman Dietz narrated. They are funny. I am not into hunting or fishing, but the stories are hilarious.

But, if you want to learn more about this intelligent bird, this book, Mind of the Raven, is a lot of fun because Bernd Heinrich really loves what he does.

31 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-05-2017

Narrator killed what potential it had

Old voice dull and conspiciously short of breath killed what otherwise might have been an enjoyable listen. Recommend reading the book instead. There are insights and enjoyable moments in ravens throughout and definitely something there for those of us interested and curious about the topic.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-12-2018

Interesting but outdated

Listeners should be aware that although the audio book is copyright 2016 the book that is being read is copyright 1998 with most of the observations and research occurring several years before that. The Narrative is largely about the writer's experience raising and observing ravens.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Victoria
  • 05-04-2017

Raven

Lots of detailed information about the birds but difficult to stay focused on text because the narrators voice nor his tone did justice to the words written. Was very difficult to listen to him. After listening to as much as I could I came to fully believe understand the importance of the fit between voice, subject and ability to nuance the topic

18 people found this helpful

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  • Kathy F.
  • 20-08-2018

Fascinating

I found this book very absorbing and fascinating, even when it occasionally becomes extremely detailed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Donna
  • 15-09-2017

How do biologists understand other animals?

What made the experience of listening to Mind of the Raven the most enjoyable?

To learn the extent of Ravens ability to reason and solve problems was amazing. The wild experiments that the author performed with Ravens as subjects was amazing. I do have to ask, would we tolerate such experiments performed on people. I do not know. On the other hand, how can you get informed consent from a Raven?

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mind of the Raven?

Testing whether Ravens can figure out how to get food that is hanging from a string really showed (to me) that Ravens have intelligence, a capacity for acting that is not instinctual. This means that we are undervaluing our fellow inhabitants of our planet.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-04-2019

totally awesome

the content is that of decades if research and first hand experience. the cadence of the narrator is top notch and does not feel as if he is reading from a text book. your mind will expand from hearing this novel and an unparalleled perspective of another intelligent creature will leave you wanting more. do yourself a huge favor and listen to this book. enjoy. g.d.stockinger

2 people found this helpful

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  • TaraMichelle
  • 25-07-2017

Eyes open to the amazing world of Ravens

Thoroughly enjoyed this audible book.
The content & the articulate way it is written, together with the narrators voice transports you to the scene of the tale & when it has concluded it is like saying good bye to family.

I now ponder there is a secondary gain from this book, a reminder that living in harmony with our fellow man & with nature is a gift to us all in the huge holographic scheme of things that we do not even realize. Its not all about me.

Thank you for your years of time & research to share this book with the world.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Possum Bean
  • 02-05-2017

A Very Good Listen

I knew almost nothing of ravens when I started this book but now I have a huge appreciation of how much work, time and amazing effort goes into field studies. From climbing huge trees (a few times a day!) to continuously recording notes, coming up with imaginative tests for the ravens, collecting varieties of food (such as roadkill, frogs, snakes and many calves), and traveling to different raven locals around the world - this is a work of science and love.

The narrator Norman Dietz did a very nuanced job and I thought he was a great choice. This is a book of science much like what would be written up in a scientific journal, but skillfully interwoven with raven antidotes and stories about their inexhaustibly different behaviors - which in any other reader's voice could be read with too much emotion - or too little. This is one of those 'listens' where I had to check that it was not the author himself who was the narrator because Mr. Dietz was so perfectly believable speaking in the first-person.

Is it dry and devoid of suspense, intrigue, romance? Not in the least, but be prepared to listen and hopefully appreciate Mr Dietz's voice as he reads the minutiae of facts such as 1 minute 40 seconds, intervals of 3 minutes every 6th time, etc. That might be boring to some but I found it demonstrated that the author was meticulous in his study of ravens, and I was just as fascinated by the scientific notes as the interwoven stores of Goliath, Lefty, White Wing, Hootie and the rest of the gang.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ret.Pet Pro
  • 18-08-2017

IMind of the Raven,

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No it's to ......... boring? The narrators voice tone and diction is not pleasant to my ear.

Were the concepts of this book easy to follow, or were they too technical?

I'm a retired animal professional, training, vet tech, and have read more books on these subjects then I can literally count. I am a great observer of our local Ravens but this audio just is not for my ears.

How could the performance have been better?

Different voice reading? I don't think this is a pleasure reading book.

Was Mind of the Raven worth the listening time?

Kind of

Any additional comments?

I did not go back a second time to listen. I will probably return it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-02-2017

Great book if you adore corvids

Only a short review. Great book and it comes with huge insight. However, the narrator's voice is really slow and annoying. It is partially solvable by speeding up the playback to 1. 25 or even 1. 5 faster.
I'd still recommend this to anyone who loves crows and ravens.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-09-2019

Narrator murders this

Lovely book, deeply fascinating and affectionately written but you're not going to sit down and listen to it for the joy of the performance. I battled through for the sake of the content but as wonderful as that is I was constantly irritated and bored by the reading. Hair shirt stuff, worthy but not fun.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lewis
  • 09-06-2019

Painful narrators voice

Couldn’t even finish this book. The narrator sounds like he’s had or is mid way through a mild stroke :(

2 people found this helpful

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