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. What’s the point of studying a species if you don’t describe what you think it is you’re seeing? We’ve all been there.
Crow Country is nature writing at its most enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed 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.