Welcome to Subirdia Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife John M. Marzluff, Jack DeLap (Illustrated by)

Publication date:
29 Sep 2015
Yale University Press
320 pages: 235 x 178mm
41 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

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Even as growing cities and towns pave acres of landscape, some bird species have adapted and thrived. How has this come about?

Welcome to Subirdia presents a surprising discovery: the suburbs of many large cities support incredible biological diversity. Populations and communities of a great variety of birds, as well as other creatures, are adapting to the conditions of our increasingly developed world. In this fascinating and optimistic book, John Marzluff reveals how our own actions affect the birds and animals that live in our cities and towns, and he provides ten specific strategies everyone can use to make human environments friendlier for our natural neighbors.
Over many years of research and fieldwork, Marzluff and student assistants have closely followed the lives of thousands of tagged birds seeking food, mates, and shelter in cities and surrounding areas. From tiny Pacific wrens to grand pileated woodpeckers, diverse species now compatibly share human surroundings. By practicing careful stewardship with the biological riches in our cities and towns, Marzluff explains, we can foster a new relationship between humans and other living creatures—one that honors and enhances our mutual destiny.

John M. Marzluff is James W. Ridgeway Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington and lives in Snohonish, WA. The author or coauthor of more than 130 scientific papers and five books, he is a renowned ornithologist and urban ecologist. Jack DeLap is a Ph.D. candidate in wildlife science at the University of Washington. His natural science illustrations have appeared in a variety of books and journals. He lives in Seattle, WA.

"This excellent book documents engagingly how wildlife has adapted to urban and suburban areas, often in surprising ways. . . . Most highly recommended for all interested in wildlife, city planning, and urban ecology."—Library Journal (starred review)

"As Marzluff shows in this rich account of fieldwork in ‘metropolitan wilds’ from New Zealand to Costa Rica, such annexed environments – which boast some 75 billion trees in the United States alone – can host  an astounding diversity of birds. But, he argues passionately, intelligently and with scientific authority, any land-use change reweaves the ecological web, and may leave it threadbare."—Nature

". . . this book is a terrific compilation of facts about suburban wildlife (much more than birds, and well beyond its US core). There are awful statistics —about cats especially, but also skyscraper collisions, poisons and habitat loss— and many happily more positive ones."—Rob Hume, Birdwatch

"I have the greatest admiration for Marzluff’s passionate book. He sets himself the task of distilling the latest specialist research for a wider audience and he succeeds triumphantly."—Jonathan Wright, The Glasgow Herald

"A triumph! Everything you wanted to know about suburban birds—and more."—Tim Birkhead, author of Bird Sense and Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology since Darwin

"With enthusiasm, wit, and compelling scholarship, John Marzluff challenges us to reconsider a forgotten landscape. Welcome to Suburdia is more than entertaining—it will change the way you think about cities, nature, and your own backyard."—Thor Hanson, author of Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle

"John Marzluff writes with authority and insight about the lives and habits of birds around us and suggests steps we can take to protect them in an increasingly hostile world."—Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate and author of Their Fate is Our Fate: How Birds Foretell Threats to Our Health and Our World

"Suburbs are increasingly an important factor affecting wildlife, especially birds--both negatively and positively. There is much that we can do for animals as ‘good neighbors’ that enriches their lives and ours. Nobody is more well-suited and qualified than John Marzluff to address this issue."—Bernd Heinrich, author of The Homing Instinct: Meaning and Mystery in Animal MigrationLife Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death, and Mind of the Raven

"I know of no other book that covers this topic. The synthesis is novel and powerful. . . . This is a unique, interesting, and important work."—Steward Pickett, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies