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Book Review: A guide to Creatures in your Neighbourhood

by The Urban Field Naturalist Project

Murdoch Books | August 2022 | RRP $32.99

Whether it’s an afternoon of exploring or a walk to the letterbox, A Guide to the Creatures in Your Neighbourhood is your ticket to slow down and get curious about urban nature. No matter where you live, you’ll have a front row seat!

Wildlife exists all around us: on our balconies, in backyards, parks and local streets. The urban environment is home to a diverse array of living creatures, from ants, spiders and snails, to birds, possums, lizards and even wayward weeds emerging through cracks in the footpath. If we pay attention, each of them is an invitation into a unique and intricate mode of life, into an entire world of growth and decay, of communication and sensation, going on right under our noses.

Did you know crows can identify humans by their faces? Or that ibises can ‘see’ with the tips of their bills? Let the team from the Urban Field Naturalist Project amaze you with weird and wonderful facts about cockatoos, magpies, spiders, possums and other animals just outside your doorstep. Then get inspired to cultivate a deeper connection with tips for observing, sketching, photographing and making field notes – or simply sitting still to observe and listen.

Crammed full of fascinating facts presented in an accessible style, the book teaches readers about some of the common plants and animals they’re likely to encounter in urban Australia, while also providing them with new techniques and practical exercises to develop their skills in capturing and sharing their own encounters in stories, sketches, and more. Combining science with art, philosophy, and storytelling, this is a book that aims to cultivate a sense of wonder and appreciation for our remarkable natural world.