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Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our…

Welcome to Subirdia: Sharing Our Neighborhoods with Wrens, Robins,…

by John M. Marzluff

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Most people have heard stories about how wildlife has been negatively affected by deforestation and people taking over natural habitats. For example, seventy five percent of 125 or so native Hawaiian birds present 4000 years ago when human first colonized the islands are now extinct. WELCOME TO SUBIRDIA provides a great deal of information about the effects of human activity on wildlife, particularly birds, as they move into previously natural environments. The changes are not all negative, but they do change things.
Recent studies have shown that there are more varieties of birds in residential and business areas than in forests. Some birds are able to adapt to the changes. Others avoid them. Still others exploit them. But in all cases, the introduction of new species and the departure of others affects biological diversity, usually negatively.
Birds find many ways of adapting. Junco tails have adjusted to a longer breeding season. Swallows are evolving more agile bodies which help them avoid automobiles. Some birds adjust their color, wing and bill shape, and migrate less. Their days are longer.
Some birds have been able to adjust their culture to find new foods and overcome traffic noise. They have learned to sing louder or alter the pitch and tempo of their voices. Nightingales sing louder on weekdays.
Other animals, including fish, are also evolving. Frog and insect calls evolve because of noise competition. Light pollution takes a toll on birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians.
Bird feeding and watching are very popular activities. In fact, people feed birds about the same amount of corn, wheat, and rice that the U.S. government donates annually to feed people in Africa. Bird feeders allow birds to remain in northern locations longer than they would otherwise but that encourages earlier breeding and larger broods. Unfortunately, the insects the young birds eat arrive later on.
While birds face many problems, including light pollution, pesticides, cars, and buildings, their biggest enemy is cats who kill more cats than all the others combined.
WELCOME TO SUBIRDIA includes ideas about how to foster a vibrant ecosystem, lists projects looking for volunteers, and has twenty six pages of expanded notes and thirty three pages of references.
WELCOME TO SUBIRDIA offers a comprehensive overview of the way birds have adjusted to the expansion of humans into their territories. Well-written with nice illustrations, both veteran bird watchers and novices will find much useful information within its covers. ( )
  Judiex | Oct 28, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300197071, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:16 -0400)

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