The Urban Bestiary
Encountering the Everyday Wild
From the bestselling author of Crow Planet, a compelling journey into the secret lives of the wild animals at our back door.
In The Urban Bestiary, acclaimed nature writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt journeys into the heart of the everyday wild, where coyotes, raccoons, chickens, hawks, and humans live in closer proximity than ever before.
Haupt's observations bring compelling new questions to light: Whose "home" is this? Where does the wild end and the city begin? And what difference does it make to us as humans living our everyday lives?
In this wholly original blend of science, story, myth, and memoir, Haupt draws us into the secret world of the wild creatures that dwell among us in our urban neighborhoods, whether we are aware of them or not. With beautiful illustrations and practical sidebars on everything from animal tracking to opossum removal, The Urban Bestiary is a lyrical book that awakens wonder, delight, and respect for the urban wild, and our place within it.
In this sparkling follow-up to Crow Planet, Haupt returns to the urban wilds, this time familiarizing the reader with the wildlife ecology within their own backyards. From the ubiquitous squirrel, to the seldom seen coyote, or the subterranean mole, Haupt seeks to demystify the lives of the animals that commonly surround us, even in the most urban and seemingly unnatural settings. Each chapter focuses on a specific species, allowing to Haupt thoroughly untangle the reasons why for example people tend to admire the cleverness and dexterity of the raccoon, yet revile the rat or the opossum. Why many fear coyotes, yet are tempted to feed bears. With a nod to mythology and folklore, she examines the habits and culture of each species, paying particular attention to points where their lives intersect with humanity. Packed with information yet conversational in style, this nature memoir invites backyard birdwatchers and amateur naturalists to take a moment to be still, observant, and to discover that the wild world really does extend into our own lives, and even still today, we are too a part of that wild.