Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife

Jack DeLap (illus.). Yale Univ. 2014. 320p. photos. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780300197075. $30. NAT HIST
OrangeReviewStarThis excellent book documents engagingly how wildlife has adapted to urban and suburban areas, often in surprising ways. Marzluff's (wildlife biology, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; Dog Days, Raven Nights) work is well referenced with an extensive bibliography (he is senior author of 16 of its items) and fully annotated, eminently readable chapter notes. The cute title should not obscure the scholarship and research that is so well presented here. Discussion topics include wildlife in golf courses, how bird song changes when challenged by traffic noise, yard plantings, gardens, city parks, the effects of artificial light, bird feeders, the benefits of dead trees, and dozens of other issues. Birds dominate the text. Marzluff has a special interest in the crow family: jays, ravens, and crows per se. Much of the academic yet readable narrative (this is not a reference book) draws upon phenomena in the Pacific Northwest but the focus is worldwide and increasingly important as urban areas continue to expand.
VERDICT Most highly recommended for all interested in wildlife, city planning, and urban ecology.
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