Wesley the Owl

Wesley the Owl

The Remarkable Love Story of An Owl and His Girl

Book - 2008
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On Valentine's Day 1985, biologist Stacey O'Brien adopted Wesley, a baby barn owl with an injured wing who could not have survived in the wild. Over the next nineteen years, O'Brien studied Wesley's strange habits with both a tender heart and a scientist's eye--and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl's lifetime). She watched him turn from a helpless fluff ball into an avid com#65533;municator with whom she developed a language all their own. Eventually he became a gorgeous, gold-and-white macho adult with a heart-shaped face who preened in the mir#65533;ror and objected to visits by any other males to "his" house. O'Brien also brings us inside Caltech's prestigious research community, a kind of scientific Hogwarts where resident owls sometimes flew freely from office to office and eccentric, brilliant scientists were extraordinarily committed to studying and helping animals; all of them were changed by the animals they loved. As O'Brien gets close to Wesley, she makes astonishing discoveries about owl behavior, intelligence, and communication, coining the term "The Way of the Owl" to describe his noble behavior. When O'Brien develops her own life-threatening ill#65533;ness, the biologist who saved the life of a helpless baby bird is herself rescued from death by the insistent love and courage of this wild animal.

Enhanced by wonderful photographs, Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heart#65533;warming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. Translated into eight languages and named an Audubon Magazine Editor's Choice, Wesley the Owl is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781416551775
9781416551737
Branch Call Number: 598.97 OBR
Characteristics: ix, 229 p. : ill. ; 23 cm

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Manateestarz Jul 31, 2017

This book is a fascinating account of life with barn owls. I learned something new on every page and I found something crazy at least every 5 pages. I highly recommend this as a book club title.
My fellow book club members went through and put post it notes on every crazy occurence. our copies of Wesley were filled with dozens of little paper flags.

What was the craziest thing that happened to our appealing narrator? Was it the mice breakfast that Wesley insisted on dropping in her mouth while she was sleeping? or was it the CPR she administered to the pet hamster?

Really an eye opener and a must read.

ontherideau May 18, 2016

Very readable account of animal intelligence as well as the dedicated life of a biologist.

n
nsystems
Nov 17, 2014

Great memoir of inter-species communication. A fascinating and fun story. Highly recommended.

l
Lauriepb
Jun 23, 2013

Stacy O'Brien, a biologist at CALTEC research facility, gives a home to a disabled owlet that could never be realeased to the wild. 19 years of co-existance, love, and companionship. She sees the intelligence, loyalty and ultimate honest of Wesley and his Way of the Owl.

librarylin19 Feb 14, 2013

The fuzzy little owlet on the cover caught my eye, so I thought I would give this a try. I laughed, I cried, and I learned alot about barn owls too. What an amazing experience Stacey O'Brien had, and lucky for us that she shared it. The photos in this paperback are black and white, they don't do Wesley justice. You can see how beautiful he was in color photos on his website http://www.wesleytheowl.com/
I guarantee you will fall in love with him like I did.

s
Shihtzulover
Apr 16, 2009

Calling all nature and animal lovers. In 1985 Caltech student researcher O'Brien adopted an injured four day old barn owl that she named Wesley. For 19 years she kept,cared for and studied him, forging a tremendous relationship with the still-wild animal, as well as a vast understanding of his abilities, instincts and habits. This heartwarming captivating memoir contains many humorous moments.

r
ryner
Apr 13, 2009

What a charming book! When an owlet with nerve damage shows up at the Cal Tech laboratory where Stacey O'Brien works, a colleague encourages her to adopt it and care for it at home. With the understanding that raising an owl is a potential commitment of over a decade, O'Brien nevertheless agrees, and proceeds to document all aspects of Wesley's (the owl) incredible, 19-year life with her.

As a reader, I greatly appreciated O'Brien's background in biology. Without it, this would merely have been another story about a human and a pet. Instead, she is able to offer frank, scientific insight on Wesley's behavior and intelligence. I definitely have a newfound admiration for owls.

Notices

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ryankelly97
Jun 16, 2012

Sexual Content: Mating. It is recorded in the book when Wesley mates Stacey's arm.

r
ryankelly97
Jun 16, 2012

Coarse Language: Several swear words heard through the book.

Quotes

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JCLKimG Oct 04, 2013

"To that which you tame, you owe your life"

r
ryankelly97
Jun 16, 2012

"Deeple, deeple, deet, deet, deeple deet!" -Wesley

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ryankelly97
Jun 16, 2012

ryankelly97 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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