Connecting to nature is most easily accomplished by simply hanging out in one’s own neighborhood. Traveling distances to local natural areas, state parks, or national lands might bring you the opportunity to encounter interesting wildlife, but one’s own neighborhood hosts its own wildlife worthy of appreciation. Nature writer Lynda Lynn Haupt showed this in her book The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild (2013).
University of Washington professor and research biologist Johm Marzluff has written a similar book, showing how biological diversity is strong where people live. In the nicely illustrated Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins, Woodpeckers, and Other Wildlife (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014, 320 pp.), Marzluff writes about the human connection to animals that share our cities and neighborhood – referencing his own research into “subirdia” – and offers ways to make that connection better for the animals in the midst of global concerns about the health of our planet. Welcome to Subirdia is a welcome addition to recent books that show how humans and nature (birds, specifically, for this book) coexist for the better.
Last year Marzluff gave a talk about “subirdia” for Oregon Wildlife in Portland. You can watch it here: