Come along on an informative, whirlwind tour of urban species – from intelligent crows to backyard lichens – and discover that you are surrounded by wild nature, even in your own backyard.
When biologist Hanna Bjørgaas spots a fairy cup lichen in Antarctica, she is surprised to recognize it from her own backyard in Oslo. When she returns home, she embarks on a journey into urban nature, visiting city parks, cemeteries, and concrete rooftops to investigate the species that live in urban spaces. Along the way, she meets corvids, songbirds, ants, pigeons, bats, sparrows, fungi, and linden trees – and the experts who study their surprising abilities to survive, and thrive, in the city.
As Bjørgaas discovers, urban nature – and its unique mixture of species that have never lived together before in Earth's history – is valuable. More than half of the world's human population lives in densely populated areas – and plants and animals have followed us into cities. Secret Life of the City invites us to pay more attention to the sounds, sights, and smells of urban nature right outside our door.
A treasure trove of fascinating flora and fauna, this wonderful book offers a plea to save our city plants, animals, and fungi before we lose them, too.
Hanna Bjørgaas is a biologist who has worked as a guide in the Arctic and Antarctic, led field courses in Norway, and worked with architects and artists to help communicate the joy of nature to others. She has written articles on popular science and contributed to conferences on ecology and farming. Bjørgaas admits to feeling a bit naked without a pair of binoculars and a magnifying glass hanging around her neck.