From the immediate perspective of natives, it's a matter of tolerating humans, who created suburbia only recently. But is there a benefit? That question stimulates my continuing attention to what eastern screech owls have to say about my neighborhood's quality, compared with a younger, smaller suburb five miles away and a rural site five miles in another direction. In fact, suburban owls produce more owlets per nest, are denser, and their numbers are more stable compared to those in rural forest, while owls in the younger suburb are intermediate. Have I uncovered a paradox?
Livable space is certainly scarcer in suburbia, but food is more abundant, and natural predators are less numerous. The wetter, warmer climate fosters food supplies, and there is permanent water in yard sprinklers, birdbaths, and lily ponds. More importantly, perhaps, food and water are more dependable. Again, I measure intermediate values in the younger suburb, suggesting that resources increase in certainty and amount during urbanization. That's different from forest development, wherein dependability increases but amount cycles below an early maximum.
During natural community construction, food is most plentiful early but fluctuates greatly. As the habitat develops, food declines somewhat but becomes more dependable (stable), and that may be the key to success. Of course a native species must be able to live in a relatively small area of habitat, survive the scarcity of some resources such as tree cavities, and tolerate or avoid human traffic, tools, and toxins to take advantage of suburban largesse. But if population stability is a good criterion of prime place, I've certainly learned something new about suburbia.