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Wesley the Owl: 08/03/11

cover art

Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien is one of those wonderful books where the planets are in alignment to create a perfect read. Reading is a very personal thing. For me its elements of my life, my interests, and those random synchronicities that makes a perfect read.

In 1985, biologist and assistant at Caltech's owl laboratory, Stacey O'Brien was asked to foster a four day old barn owl. He had nerve damage to his wings and couldn't be released into the wild. His best option was being hand raised as a wild animal in a controlled environment.

Now if this book were just about Stacey and Wesley it would have been a fascinating, informative and memorable read. However, the Caltech connection and of course the owl connection made the book extra special.

For the first two years of my marriage I lived in Caltech married student housing. The way she describes Caltech and the research being done, both in terms of the science and the scientists, brought back memories of living there.

Finally there is Wesley himself. I learned so much about barn owls from reading O'Brien's observations of life with Wesley. Where we now live there are approximately 50 mated pairs of owls. In the late winter to early spring the night time is noisy with all the screeching of owlets calling for food. While I've always liked having them around I've come away with a greater appreciation for these wonderful owls.

Five stars.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Friday, August, 5, 2011 at 16:15:08

Carin S.

There's a Raptor Center near me. I haven't been in years and need to go. It is very cool to see all the rescued owls and hawks etc.

Comment #2: Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 21:39:01


We have an animal rescue center down the road from us. There are a few owls of various species there.

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