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Book: Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien

 
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owlboy
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Location: Albany, NY, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:45 pm    Post subject: Book: Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien Reply with quote

I have just finished the book, "Wesley the Owl" by Stacy O'Brien.



The book is a story of a young biologist in southern California at Caltech who is given a non-releasable baby Barn Owl named Wesley, and the relationship between them over a twenty year period. If you are educated as a scientist or have an interest in owls, you will enjoy the book. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to have an owl as a pet, you will learn the hardships that come with this responsibility. While Stacey loved Wesley immensely, it took it own toll on her personal life. While Stacey is not a gifted writer, she surely is a gifted scientist. She made so many observations about Barn Owls that no one has seen. I learned many new behavior traits about Barn Owls. It seemed that I was learning new things about Barn Owls every couple of pages. I found that the book started slow but was very educational. The second half of the book really pulls you in emotionally.

Here is the statement on the inside cover: On Valentines's Day 1985, biologist Stacey O'Brien first met a four-day-old baby barn owls - 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.

Withe both a tender heart and a scientist's eye, O'Brien studied Wesley's strange habits intensively and firsthand - 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 fuss to a playful, clumsy adolescent to a gorgeous, gold-and-white, macho adult owl with a heart-shaped face and an outside 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 scientist 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 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 and 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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theowlette
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought I posted about this, but maybe I only did on OFF. I loved this book! She actually lives not to far from me, and there was an article about the book in the local paper.
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Ann Schmidt



Joined: 03 Jan 2009
Posts: 70
Location: La Mesa, Ca. 91942

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:09 pm    Post subject: wesley the owl Reply with quote

I read the book & loved it as well. When I checked out her web page, I found I had just missed a signing she did here in San Diego! Bummer,thought she did a wonderful job exposing us novices to the world of owls. Informative yet not dry at all.
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owlboy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
she did a wonderful job exposing us novices to the world of owls


Stacy educated Barn Owl experts also! She observed many things that none of us had seen before.

I didn't know that she had a web site. You can see it here: http://wesleytheowl.com/

She has also visited some schools. Might be of interest to educators in Southern California.
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TheLight7



Joined: 17 Feb 2009
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Location: Hastings New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Hi there Im Gray from New Zealand.
Im reading the book about Wesley & I think its Great.
I have loved owls for years.
We have a Owl park here in NZ its called Owlcatraz its in the Town of Shannon.
The native owl of NZ is called a Morepork by Europeans for the sound that it makes.
Very Happy Hi I have now read the book & it was fantastic.
Im a Spiritual/Psychic & 1 of my spirit guides is a Owl.
Aroha Nui < this means big love in the native language of the Maori peoples of NZ.
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owlet



Joined: 22 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the book. I will definantely be buying this book. Maybe, If i can get it, for the long 10 hour bus ride back home for Christmas.

Owlet
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owlboy
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found it very enjoyable and informative. I think you can get it from amazon also.
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theowlette
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got mine at Barnes & Noble. I'm pretty sure it's in most book stores.
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OwlGirl101



Joined: 11 Oct 2010
Posts: 32
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:45 pm    Post subject: Wesley the Owl Reply with quote

This book sounds fantastic, I will look out for it.
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OwlGirl101



Joined: 11 Oct 2010
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Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just found this book in the library-it is amazing!!
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Varda



Joined: 15 May 2011
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been meaning to read this book for the longest time, but I finally decided to get it from the library. I am only halfway done with it, but I love it so far!
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