The Dinosaurs in My Yard

Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops Are Gone, But We Can Enjoy Their Surviving Cousins: Birds

Few things make me happier than seeing dinosaurs on my front lawn. They’re not trundling, spiky stegosaurs or knife-toothed, stubby-armed ceratosaurs. No, my neighborhood dinosaurs here in Salt Lake City will be familiar to many who reside in the American West. The crushes of quail that bobble and scurry past the sidewalk in the warm morning light; the magpies that stalk and hop after insects in the cool grass; even the pigeons that take off with clapping wings at the approach of overfed outdoor cats—they’re all dinosaurs.

Occasionally, I’m harried by …