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Coyote at the Kitchen Door: Living with Wildlife in Suburbia

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
A moose frustrates commuters by wandering onto the highway; a cougar stalks his prey through suburban backyards; an alligator suns himself in a strip mall parking lot. Such stories, which regularly make headline news, highlight the blurred divide that now exists between civilization and wilderness.

In "Coyote at the Kitchen Door," Stephen DeStefano draws on decades of exper
Hardcover, 196 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Harvard University Press
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Mar 07, 2013 Lukie rated it really liked it
Suburban sprawl’s effect on wildlife- loss of habitat, the dangers of roads. How some adapt, like coyotes, pretty well, while others (amphibians, songbirds) decline. Also, how people, too, are affected by the sprawl and our spirits need the sanctuary of open land & silence. Amen.
Recent news item of over 1500 grebes diving headlong into pavement when what they thought was a pond but turned out to be a Walmart parking lot, was a heart-breaking example of the devastating effects of such sprawl
Excellent. This is a broad study of the increasing overlap between human settlement and the habitats of other species. The coyote is a unique example, because unlike many other animals, coyotes are adaptable enough to thrive - living mostly out of sight under our noses - amid human communities, up to and including very large cities. Unfortunately, a lot of others can't do the same for various reasons, and that's one of the main reasons the human population explosion is causing an accelerating ma ...more
Joan Colby
Nov 01, 2010 Joan Colby rated it liked it
The interspersed account of a coyote’s life was the most interesting aspect of this book by a wildlife expert. His summation of how urbanization and the suburban sprawl impacts native species was thorough if a bit dry. The book was in part a memoir but a rather disjointed and incomplete one. I would have preferred more focus on the animals themselves.
Apr 15, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: real-world
A thoughtful, personal meditation on man and the nature around him. The coyote reminds us that the wild is right there next to us. The author aspires to and perhaps has become " a self-made hick" as he muses about coyotes running around in Western Massachusetts. He grew up in suburban Boston catching frogs in the Charles River and is living his dream as a research biologist, a career which has also taken him to Alaska and the American West. The book is filled with wonderfully descriptive observa ...more
May 31, 2010 Suevw rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
living on a farm and being so close to some of the issues and incidences he raises made me really keep at this book.

Probably the most important point I want to remember is the part about the cats - how they are the predator that is most able to be destructive to other animals in our current course now. Need to get the quote in here so I will be able to get it right.

Should go out and start a movement to get cats neutered and into homes where they can be loved and not go feral - or is that even
Aug 30, 2010 MikeFromQueens rated it it was ok
Not was I expected - it was predominantly about coyotes in suburbia, interspersed with personal experiences. I was expecting "Living with wildlife in suburbia" to give me some practical insights to the red-tailed hawks, chipmonks, moles, groundhogs, red foxes, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, and what looked like a bob-cat passing through my yard less than 12 miles west of Times Square. Nope. It was OK, but did not feed my head.
Sue Tincher
Essays by a wildlife biologist on the modern-day interactions between wildlife and people in urban areas. Most stories are about Massachusetts, where he was raised and currently lives, but he includes tales of his fieldwork in Arizona and Canada and other places. DeStefano tends toward navel-gazing.
Sep 28, 2013 Brittany rated it really liked it
A lovely mediation on the lives of suburban coyotes and how they influence suburban humans. Well-written with gentle narration. The nonfiction chapters are interspersed with a fictional, imaginative account of the life of a coyote. This book is full of information you know and intuitive leaps that you might not have made.
Aug 03, 2011 Troy rated it liked it
Shelves: environment
This was more of a memoir than anything else, but overall the book had some interesting anecdotes and a positive message. The author cites Leopold at the end which was fortunate, as this is essentially a modern take on the whole "land ethic" ideal. So, a good, short read, but not exactly what you would expect from the title and blurb.
Dec 25, 2009 secondwomn rated it it was ok
Shelves: hup, 2009
i'd really give this 2.5 stars. i wanted to like this, but i also wanted it to be more than a conservation biologist's thinly veiled memoir/environmental philosophy. very well written, it just wasn't what i was after.

as an aside, i think the cover is gorgeous.
Jul 11, 2010 Margery rated it liked it
Interesting from a naturalists perspective - not as much substance as I expected - reviews of ecology/suburbia intersects - not recommended for everyone - those who care about wildlife, hiking, camping would probably glean nuggets from it.
Suzanne Auckerman
Oct 04, 2012 Suzanne Auckerman rated it liked it
This book was okay. It e
Was reviewed in Audubon
magazine. He organized in an interesting way, gave a glimpse into what a field biologist does, but overall not much new information. However, he does make they point of people's conflicting views on wildlife.
Nov 20, 2013 Jan rated it really liked it
A very personal book, bringing together suburban wildlife, personal experiences and the worldviews of coyotes. A delightful read, reminding us that the wild things still are, and they knock on the doors of our consciousness to remind us of our true place on this planet.
Apr 04, 2010 William rated it did not like it
One of the lamest books I ever read.

Little of the book is actually about coyotes.

Meandering autobiography with few interesting moments.
Feb 13, 2015 ReD rated it liked it
disjointed, ramblings that have very little to do with coyotes or wildlife in suburbia.
However, still very thought provoking which saves it from a 2 star.
Full review in march's paper
Mar 17, 2010 Kate rated it liked it
"It is a subtle sadness, not seeing the Milky Way from home. And who knows what the absence of stars does to our perspective, to our understanding of the universe and our place in it?"
Marjorie Elwood
Mar 18, 2010 Marjorie Elwood rated it liked it
Interesting, though somewhat disjointed, discussion about urban wildlife and its connection to humans. He wraps it up beautifully, with ecological musings a la Aldo Leopold.
Christine rated it liked it
Mar 12, 2012
Angel Pinedo
Angel Pinedo rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2013
Jane rated it really liked it
Oct 11, 2010
Anita rated it liked it
Mar 08, 2012
Claire rated it liked it
Apr 19, 2012
Beth rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2013
woze rated it liked it
Nov 02, 2015
Mira rated it really liked it
Feb 06, 2016
Diane Borden
Diane Borden rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2015
Tom rated it really liked it
Dec 07, 2014
Andrea rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2012
Jul 30, 2010 Liz rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
A wonderful book about urban sprawl. It will make you rethink the way you live.
Ddelduca rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2013
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