Cover image for Welcome to subirdia : sharing our neighborhoods with wrens, robins, woodpeckers, and other wildlife
Welcome to subirdia : sharing our neighborhoods with wrens, robins, woodpeckers, and other wildlife
Marzluff, John M., author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2014]

Physical Description:
xiv, 303 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Home turf -- Finding subirdia -- A child's question -- A shared web -- The fragile nature of subirdia -- Where we work and play -- The junco's tail -- Beyond birds -- Good neighbors -- Nature's tenth commandment.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL677.5 .M38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
QL677.5 .M38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QL677.5 .M38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QL677.5 .M38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



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.

Author Notes

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.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. This 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.-Henry T. Armistead, formerly with Free Lib. of Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Marzluff (Univ. of Washington) has hit a winner with this new release. This easily read but engrossing account offers something for everyone. The setting is familiar: suburban areas that fringe cities across the globe. Yet the story quickly begins to veer into unexpected, unexplored territory, and soon readers find themselves looking at their future on the planet. This future is tied, more than people may wish to acknowledge, to the bird species valiantly adapting to the huge changes that humans have made to the landscape. Writing with the sure hand of an inveterate observer-a crack scientist with the soul of a nice guy next door-Marzluff takes readers into his life in Seattle, working with teams of his graduate students and some admirable neighbors. Readers visit ten cities around the world and marvel at the simplicity of the author's ten rules for saving the situation. And readers are left with an optimistic list of deeply rewarding projects accessible to anyone. This is therapy for people who worry. Beautifully illustrated in black-and-white by Jack Delap, with accuracy and touches of humor. For scientists, bird lovers, philosophers-and everyone else. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. --Keir B. Sterling, Pace University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
1 Home Turfp. 1
2 Finding Subirdiap. 11
3 A Child's Questionp. 25
4 A Shared Webp. 51
5 The Fragile Nature of Subirdiap. 75
6 Where We Work and Playp. 101
7 The Junco's Tailp. 119
8 Beyond Birdsp. 149
9 Good Neighborsp. 177
10 Nature's Tenth Commandmentp. 211
Notesp. 231
Referencesp. 259
Indexp. 293