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The Ten Commandments of Subirdia

Tips for a happy coexistence with birds and nature
© Yale Press View Large

In his book Welcome To Subirdia, bird expert John Marzluff offers a guide for living in close proximity to birds and other wildlife. His advice includes the following “commandments:” Do not covet your neighbor's lawn; keep your cat indoors; make your windows visible to birds; don’t light up the night sky; and provide food, water, and nestboxes. Perhaps most importantly, Marzluff encourages us to enjoy and bond with nature. Marzluff is the James W. Ridgeway Professor of Forest Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Full Transcript



The Ten Commandments of Subirdia

Written By Dominic Black from an interview with Professor John Marzluff

This is BirdNote. 

In his book Welcome To Subirdia, John Marzluff offers a guide to living in proximity to birds and other wildlife. John Marzluff is Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington, in Seattle. And here are his Ten Commandments for happy coexistence with nature, and birds in particular:

        The first is, Do not covet your neighbor's lawn. The lawn is really an ecological disaster of the highest magnitude.

        The second one is to Keep your cat indoors. 

        Thirdly, Make your windows visible to birds.

        Fourthly, Don't light up the night sky.

Fifth, Provide food, water, and nestboxes - other provisions that birds need.

Six, Do not kill native predators.

Seven, Foster a diversity of habitats within the cities where we live. 

        Eighth, Make the roads safer for animals and crossings of hazardous places in general safer.

        Nine, Work with planning authorities to try to ensure that we have functional connections - those that are useful to animals between aquatic and terrestrial places within our cities. 

        And finally number ten is to enjoy and bond with nature wherever you live. And that's very important because engaging with nature allows people to appreciate nature, build respect for it, care, wonder and even love for nature.

 John Marzluff's book is Welcome to Subirdia.

For BirdNote, I'm Michael Stein. 


Suburban ambience recorded by Chris Peterson
Ambience Nature SFX #47 'Deciduous Forest Morning Songbirds' recorded by Gordon Hempton 
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2015 Tune In to      April 2015     Narrator: Michael Stein

ID #: marzluffj-subirdia-01-2015-04-06         marzluffj-subirdia-01

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