Dog Days, Raven Nights John M. Marzluff, Colleen Marzluff, Bernd Heinrich, Evon Zerbetz (Illustrated by)

Publication date:
26 Mar 2013
Yale University Press
352 pages: 235 x 178mm
56 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

The coauthor of the award-winning In the Company of Crows and Ravens and his wife, an animal-behavior expert, offer an engaging account of their days as young field biologists in Maine

Twenty years ago, fresh out of graduate school and recently married, John and Colleen Marzluff left Arizona for a small cabin in the mountains of western Maine. Their mission: to conduct the first-ever extensive study of the winter ecology of the Common Raven under the tutelage of biologist Bernd Heinrich.

Drawing on field notes and personal diaries, they vividly and eloquently chronicle their three-year endeavor to research a mysterious and often misunderstood bird—assembling a gigantic aviary, climbing sentry trees, building bird blinds in the forest, capturing and sustaining 300 ravens as study subjects, and enduring harsh Maine winters in pursuit of their goal. They also shared the unique challenges and joys of raising, training, and racing the sled dogs that assisted them in their work.

Accompanied by Evon Zerbetz's lovely linocut illustrations, Dog Days, Raven Nights is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at the adventures of field science and an insightful exploration of the nature of relationships, both animal and human.

John M. Marzluff is professor of wildlife science, College of the Environment, University of Washington. Colleen Marzluff is an expert in the raising and training of sled dogs and herding dogs. They live in Snohomish, WA. Evon Zerbetz is an artist in Ketchikan, AK.

“Full of the grittiness of experimental persistence—and the splendour of ravens and dogs—this is a warm tale of wonderful science.”—Patricia Churchland, Nature

"This remarkable husband-and-wife account of pathbreaking wildlife research in the snows of Maine whisks the reader along on a rare and spirited adventure into three interlocking worlds—avian, canine, and deeply human."—Ivan Doig, author of This House of Sky

“This is also a book of great fascination and even of beauty……Dog Days, Raven Nights is a work of science but it is also a book about research as adventure and as a strange, deeply enriching kind of human fulfilment.”—Mark Cocker, Times Literary Supplement

"Fascinating and beautifully written book. . . . They give a good account of their studies, and while theydon't claim to have found definitive answers to all questions, they have 'opened the door' to future research. And they've opened another door, as hoped, welcoming a wide reading audience too."—Irene Wanner, The Seattle Times