Some Recommended Nature Reading

By mid-February, even die-hard fans of winter are dreaming of getting outside into warmer weather.  Here is a list of some of my favorite nature and wildlife-related books to help take your mind to a warmer place as you await spring's arrival. My picks show my roots as a naturalist and many have a focus on wildlife and habitat close to home. 

Noah's Garden Noah's Garden by Sara Stein
This book is a classic of the wildlife gardening movement.  It shares the story of one woman's realization that regular citizens have the power to restore significant wildlife habitat simply by how they choose to garden the land under their care.  Beautifully written in a style similar to Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac, readers can't help but be inspired to get their hands in the dirt to help wildlife – literally!

Bringing Nature Home by Dr. Douglas Tallamy
Dr. Tallamy, Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, discusses the results of his research on the critical importance of native plants to wildlife populations.  Filled with great statistics and summaries of real research, this book provides important ammunition for any advocate of natural landscape management.

The Tracker by Tom Brown Jr.
This is the story of master tracker and wilderness survival expert Tom Brown.  Chronicling the tales of his apprenticeship with an Apache known only as "Grandfather" the book highlights the importance of being aware of the living creatures and the ecosystem around us, and how that awareness leads to a deep conservation ethic.

Wild Neighbors Wild Neighbors by John Hadidian
This is a great reference book on non-lethal solutions to common nuisance problems caused by a variety of wildlife, from raccoons and bats to snakes and mountain lions.

Of Wolves and Men by Barry Lopez
This book is an anthropological look at the implications that human culture, religion and myth can have on living wildlife species.  While the book focuses on humanity's relationship with the gray wolf, arguably the species that has both suffered and benefited the most from human cultural perceptions of it, the message applies to any species.

Field Guides
Whether penned by Peterson, Audubon, Sibley, or NWF field guides are an excellent way to teach yourself about the wildlife around you.  Whether you're in Namibia, Belize, Laos or your own city park, a good field guide will help you identify and know wildlife.  And don't limit yourself to hard-copy books either.  There are many excellent online field guides, complete with animal sounds, as well as smart phone applications that you can take with you into the field.

Attracting Birds And, finally, there's a great book called…

Attracting, Birds, Butterflies and Other Backyard Wildlife by David Mizejewski (that's me).
Filled with beautiful photos of natural gardens and the wildlife they attract, this how-to book has everything you need to know to achieve Certified Wildlife Habitat® status!

Happy reading!

Published: February 19, 2010