College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

Bringing Nature Bringing Nature Home: How you can sustain wildlife with native plants

by Douglas W. Tallamy, Timber Press 2007

Reviewed by Rebecca Dolan


Doug Tallamy is an entomology professor at the University of Delaware. Although he and his students are actively publishing in the scientific literature, he has written a wonderfully accessible book on the importance of native plants in backyard habitats. He makes a case, based on his studies, for native plants as the base of the food web that supports desirable backyard wildlife, from birds to turtles.

The first few chapters present a very clear review of basic ecology and conservation biology covering topics such as effects of fragmentation, invasive species, and why we should all care about protection of biodiversity, focused on a local landscape everyone can relate to - your own backyard. Later chapters suggest what to plant and what to look for on the plants that birds and other animals will like to eat.

The book is beautifully illustrated with Tallamy's own amazing photographs of caterpillars and other insects. It is published by Timber Press out of Oregon. They specialize in very reasonably priced gardening and nature-orients books.

Dr. Tallamy will be speaking as part of the J. James Woods Lecture Series at Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University on November 3rd at 7:30. The event is free and open to the public. More information is available at

- Rebecca Dolan is associate director of the Friesner Herbarium at Butler University.