There are 120 species of crows, jays and their allies which exist in the world today, many are exceedingly beautiful in colour, grace and form, whereas others are black and sinister in appearance. 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 man and appear in tales of mythology and superstition, others have been regarded as agricultural pests. The great majority, however, remain largely unknown, their only contact with man being the destruction of their specialized habitats. As a consequence, over 20 species are now regarded as internationally endangered, some before we know very much about them. This book treats each species in depth, summarizing identification techniques, and reviewing all aspects of corvid behaviour, distribution, population and taxonomy. The author had first-hand experience of most of the species during his travels through all the continent, travels in which he gradually became fascinated by this very special, but somewhat ignored, group of birds.
The book is a combination of scientifically accurate information and identification guide, planned to give anyone, whether a birdwatcher or biologist, a greater understanding of the lives of these beautiful, yet very complex, group of birds.