Wild City offers an up-close encounter with nature in your backyard
News of the eviction of nesting red-tailed hawks in the heart of Manhattan recently captured headlines across North America with the unlikely image of untamed wildlife residing in the urban jungle.
Here in southern Ontario, however, red-tailed hawks are actually numerous, along with a vast array of other wildlife, thanks largely to the city’s many winding ravines, large wooded parks and long lakeshore.
All of these creatures, along with the most common urban trees, wildflowers, weather and night sky phenomenon, are profiled in detail in Wild City: A Guide to Nature in Urban Ontario, from Termites to Coyotes, by Doug Bennet and Tim Tiner (McClelland & Stewart Ltd., $24.99).
In 130 entertaining, information-packed, richly illustrated mini-essays, Wild City brims with vital and amusing facts, trivia, lore and the answers to the most common questions everyone has about the natural world both outside and inside their homes:
How many raccoons live in Toronto?
What’s the origin of urban pigeons?
Why do yellowjacket wasps become so bothersome in late summer?
How do buttercups cause a golden reflection when held up to someone’s throat?
How many times per year is the CN Tower hit by lightning? *
These and thousands of other queries about urban birds, mammals, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, plants, trees, the night and day sky are answered in Wild City.
Seasoned journalists and avid naturalists, Doug Bennet and Tim Tiner are the authors of the previous best sellers Up North: A Guide to Ontario’s Wilderness from Blackflies to the Northern Lights (McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 1993), Up North Again: More of Ontario’s Wilderness, from Ladybugs to the Pleiades (McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 1997) and The Wild Woods Guide: From Minnesota to Maine, the Nature and Lore of the Great North Woods (HarperCollins 2003).
Wild City: A Guide to Nature in Urban Ontario, from Termites to Coyotes
130 b&w illustrations
Cover photo of a peregrine falcon at Yonge and Eglinton, downtown Toronto, by Todd Sharman, www.peregrine-foundation.ca
For more information, contact:
Authors: Tim Tiner or Doug Bennet
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart, www.mcclelland.com
*Answers to the questions above:
Despite claims of up to 600,000 raccoons living in Toronto, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources estimates the population at between 6,400 and 16,000.
Pigeons were originally cliff nesters of Mediterranean lands. They were first domesticated by the ancients before escaped birds developed city-dwelling feral populations that spread with civilization around the world.
Yellowjacket nests start with a single over-wintering queen and build to peak numbers by late summer, when there are many larvae to feed and foraging workers fan out far and wide, often spoiling barbecues and picnics.
A special white layer of cells underlaying the outer half of a buttercup’s petals reflects the sun’s light.
On average, the CN Tower has about 75 lightning strikes a year.