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Wild Nights: Nature Returns to the City

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  57 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Deer in Manhattan, coyotes in the Bronx, wild turkeys flying down Broadway -- in this first truly urban period in human history, confrontation and competition with the natural world is becoming an everyday occurrence. Anne Matthews explores these encounters, examining the implications of this unexpected and powerful resurgence of nature for the fate of a world of ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 15th 2002 by North Point Press (first published May 21st 2001)
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Owen Curtsinger
Nov 09, 2010 Owen Curtsinger rated it it was ok
The writing style was incredibly informative but almost dizzying in its presentation; a hurricane of quick, hastily presented facts without any deep investigation or explanation. Matthews spends some significant time with a few researchers (mostly bird-watchers and ornithologists) who are able to give a more focused and in-depth scope to the narrative, but for the most part the information feels like it was gleaned and compiled by headlines without any real meat. Still, it's a fascinating read, ...more
Kelly Brenner
Sep 29, 2015 Kelly Brenner rated it liked it
Wild Nights: Nature Returns to the City, by Anne Matthews is one of those books that I both liked and disliked. It’s full of excellent observations of city wildlife, but there are no footnotes, no bibliography and no references. Without those, it’s less of a scientific or fact-driven book and more essay, which would be fine except there are many facts in the book.

The book focuses almost exclusively on New York City, with some comparisons to other cities mentioned. There’s an interesting history
Nov 13, 2008 Illyria rated it it was amazing
A highly informative book with beautifully described, vivid details on the characteristics and evolution of natural life, both life and domesticated, in the steel and concrete developer's paradise that is New York City.

Do you know that the high rise buildings, with glass walls giving glimpses of ficus trees inside, confuse migrating birds, who fly around the building until they drop from exhaustion. And that there are people who watch out for them, to rescue them and to campaign for their case?
Sara Van Dyck
Aug 19, 2013 Sara Van Dyck rated it really liked it
For most of us urban dwellers, encounters with nature are a mix of wonder: a glimpse of a peregrine falcon swooping down on a pigeon; frustration: deer wrecking suburban gardens; and loathing: rodents carrying plague vectors. Matthews examines the history of wildlife in our cities, and the ways we have encouraged or damaged species. Migrant songbirds often find city towers fatal, but the striped bass is coming back to a cleaned-up Hudson,

Who wins, who loses? We continue to crave contact with th
Jan 06, 2016 Evelyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book about the return of wildlife to urban and adjoining suburban areas previously inhabited by members of their species when it was forested or savannah type habitat through migration and reintroduction efforts. The focus of the book, which is slightly out-of-date since it was published in 2001 prior to 9/11, is on the New York City metropolitan area, although it does briefly touch upon such occurrences in other urban areas. However, the book goes off-track in its final chapters ...more
Mar 17, 2008 Valerie rated it really liked it
Did you know that there are raccoons that teach their city dwelling pups to look both ways before crossing busy metropolitan streets? That certain wild bears develop a fondness for peanut butter and will do almost anything to get some from their unwilling human hosts? These and other fascinating real-life stories pepper "Wild Nights", a book dedicated to the increasingly common interaction between man and wild life in urban areas.
Sep 09, 2010 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Copious historical evidence and dubious futuristic conjecture, this book explicates that human naivety and arrogance grants it a false sense of control, but nature is perpetually changing and adapting. Consequently, some wildlife maybe returning to say their farewells to New York City as a doomsday forecast predicts that it could be an underwater ghost town in the not to distant future. Additionally, alternative catastrophic phenomenon are contemplated.
May 23, 2008 Kay rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a fascinating look at the struggle between civilization and nature, particularly as it plays out in the metropolitan area. I learned a great deal about the plant and animal life of this area, as well as the ways in which it struggles to push back and adapt. The ending shows a series of truly frightening visions of the area in 2050. Yikes!
Aug 07, 2010 Jimmy rated it really liked it
Shelves: environment
The title is misleading. It has an optimistic tone with the idea of "Nature Returns to the City." There is not a lot to be optimistic about when it comes to the future of nature. Certainly not in sprawling cities around the world with population out of control. It is filled with interesting tidbits about the natural world and our effect on it.
Jan 19, 2016 Colleen rated it really liked it
Not the type of book you might expect from the title ;) An interesting series of chapters discussing stories of animals taking back cities and adapting to human beings urbanising almost all of their territory. I enjoyed reading about eagles nesting in highrises and so on.
Susan E
Jan 25, 2012 Susan E rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-read
Loved all the detailed anecdotes; found the writing style/transitions a bit clunky. And the references to the WTC were haunting... a book I will re-read to remember all the fascinating details.
Jerry Fields
Nov 12, 2011 Jerry Fields rated it it was amazing
Skillful, extremely readable literary nonfiction. Highly recommended, and even more relevant now than when it came out.
Samantha rated it really liked it
Oct 08, 2015
Andres Santos
Andres Santos rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2013
Wild Nights 6/5/2012 Anne Matthews
I really enjoyed this book! It was
anthony e.
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Steven Wolfe rated it it was ok
May 17, 2015
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