Book review: ‘Crow Country’ by Mark Cocker

A meditation on birds, landscape and nature.
Crow Country

When naturalist Mark Cocker moves to his new home in Norfolk, he witnesses a spectacular display of crows heading off to roost. It’s a life-changing event. Suddenly Cocker has the crow bug.

This book describes six years’ rooking throughout the UK, with brief excursions to mainland Europe. Read it, and you will never think of crows as boring again.

As he becomes more familiar with their habits, Cocker comes up with a number of hypotheses about his beloved rooks. Occasionally, these hypotheses might seem a little odd, but I see no harm in that: we’ve all been there.

Crow Country is nature writing at its most enjoyable. I particularly appreciated its lack of sentimentality. Cocker clearly loves his crows, but he sees them for what they are: fascinating, living and breathing bundles of blood, flesh and feathers. We’ll probably never understand what’s going on inside their heads, but Cocker does at least have a go.

Highly recommended.

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
Buy my book: On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk
…wonderful. Science and history and geography and evolution and culture all tangled up in musings while walking about the moors around Hebden Bridge.”—PZ Myers
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