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Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl [Hardcover]

By Stacey O'Brien (Author)
Our Price $ 19.55  
Retail Value $ 23.00  
You Save $ 3.45  (15%)  
Item Number 84311  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   240
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.6" Width: 5.6" Height: 1"
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2008
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
ISBN  1416551735  
EAN  9781416551737  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Chronicles the author's rescue of an abandoned barn owlet, from her efforts to resuscitate and raise the young owl through their nineteen years together, during which the author made key discoveries about owl behavior.

Publishers Description
On Valentine's Day 1985, biologist Stacey O'Brien first met a four-day-old baby barn owl -- a fateful encounter that would turn into an astonishing 19-year saga. With nerve damage in one wing, the owlet's ability to fly was forever compromised, and he had no hope of surviving on his own in the wild. O'Brien, a young assistant in the owl laboratory at Caltech, was immediately smitten, promising to care for the helpless owlet and give him a permanent home. Wesley the Owl is the funny, poignant story of their dramatic two decades together.

With both a tender heart and a scientist's eye, O'Brien studied Wesley's strange habits intensively and first-hand -- and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl's lifetime). As Wesley grew, she snapped photos of him at every stage like any proud parent, recording his life from a helpless ball of fuzz to a playful, clumsy adolescent to a gorgeous, gold-and-white, macho adult owl with a heart-shaped face and an outsize personality that belied his 18-inch stature. Stacey and Wesley's bond deepened as she discovered Wesley's individual personality, subtle emotions, and playful nature that could also turn fiercely loyal and protective -- though she could have done without Wesley's driving away her would-be human suitors!

O'Brien also brings us inside the 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 animal they loved. As O'Brien gets close to Wesley, she makes important discoveries about owl behavior, intelligence, and communication, coining the term "The Way of the Owl" to describe his inclinations: he did not tolerate lies, held her to her promises, and provided unconditional love, though he was not beyond an occasional sulk. When O'Brien develops her own life-threatening illness, 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 photos, Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heartwarming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. It is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.

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More About Stacey O'Brien

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Stacey O'Brien is trained as a biologist specializing in wild animal behavior. She graduated from Occidental College with a B.S. in Biology and continued her education at Caltech. She lives in southern California.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Wesley the Owl  May 28, 2010
This is a great book. It provides a great incite into barn owls
living with humans.
AUDIO Playaway version very good. Topics NOT appropriate for kids!  May 28, 2010
I enjoyed this book. There are plenty of reviews already for this book; therefore I will simply mention 5 specifics:

(1) The audio version has a very good narrator.

(2) There are multiple audio version types available: CDs, downloads, and Playaway. I was able to borrow a Playaway version. The Playaway is basically a single-purpose, portable audio player that comes pre-loaded with just one audiobook. It is smaller than a typical deck of playing cards, and lighter weight too; and easy to carry around. It is designed to play just the one pre-loaded book. It does not have the functionality to load additional books or music. My overall impression of Playaway: cool.

(3) Although the title contains the word "girl", this is not a book for children (very inappropriate topics!), and it is not about a child. And it is not a book from an airhead who wants to be childlike. The label "woman" seems more appropriate for who she is intellectually and emotionally; perhaps the title is a Southern California way of speaking, or maybe the publisher thought it would sell better. Near the beginning of the tale, she is a college student or recent graduate, and the story continues 19 years. The author's intelligence and education shine throughout the book; also toughness, tenacity, bravery.

(4) There are many gross details in the book that would make anyone squeamish -- e.g. details about providing multiple mice on a daily basis to a carnivore, and details about what comes out the other end. And then there are details of owl sexual behavior, some of it hilarious. To repeat, this is not a book for kids.

(4) Although charming and heart-warming, this is also a cautionary tale of the real dangers, major inconveniences, high expenses, and big sacrifices (sacrifices of one's lifestyle and personal relationships) involved in adopting a wild animal, especially one that is not of a social species. There were some scary scenes, close calls where humans could have been badly injured. I was shocked to learn how easily a non-social animal could permanently turn against someone, even the person with the closest bond to it, because of, say, a few moments of angry yelling.
you will never forget this story!  May 23, 2010
I loved this story of stacy and her owl , Wesley . I look at owls at with a whole new understanding now . Who would ever think that a raptor could have such a personality? .
Wesley the Owl  May 17, 2010
After I had purchased this book for myself and loved it so much, I decided I needed to buy it for several friends. I am a volunteer at a wild bird rehabilitation facility and this story, written by a biologist, struck a chord in my heart. The author has a way with words that made me laugh and smile the whole time I was reading this book. Stacey O'Brien has made a great contribution to the world, I'm certain, in relaying over and over the responsibility we humans should feel when we tame a wild animal - that we should give them our lives, if we do this. We see quite a few birds come in to our wild bird rehab. who have been raised by humans with good intentions, but when a tame bird is set free, it doesn't have much of a chance to survive. Licensed rehabbers know how to raise birds without taming them. They have the skills necessary to teach birds how to avoid predators (people included) and how to find food. I commend Stacey for her dedication to Wesley, devoting her life to him, and for helping wild owls by sharing her knowledge of Wesley with other biologists.
Remarlable is right  May 14, 2010
This book is truely a remarkable story. It is one of the best books I have ever read. Stacy O'Brien's intereaction with this owl is almost unberlievable.

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