Wesley the Owl

The Remarkable Love Story of An Owl and His Girl
O'Brien, Stacey (Book - 2008)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Wesley the Owl
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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.
Authors: O'Brien, Stacey
Title: Wesley the owl
the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: 229 p. ;,23 cm.
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Contents: The way of the owl
To that which you tame, you owe your life
Owl in fancy
Barn owl toddler: love me, love my owl
Flying lessons
Attack kitten on wings
Love to eat them mousies
Understanding each other: sound and body language
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
A day in the life of a biologist
Owls are not waterbirds
Deep bonds
The sex tapes
Fifteen years of trust
Twilight: he whom I tamed saves my life.
Local Note: 2 6 10 14 15
ISBN: 1416551735
Statement of Responsibility: Stacey O'Brien
Subject Headings: Women biologists California, Southern Biography. Human-animal relationships California, Southern Anecdotes. Barn owl Behavior California, Southern Anecdotes. Barn owl California, Southern Anecdotes. O'Brien, Stacey.
Topical Term: Women biologists
Human-animal relationships
Barn owl
Barn owl
LCCN: 2008007985
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Great memoir of inter-species communication. A fascinating and fun story. Highly recommended.

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.

Feb 14, 2013
  • librarylin16 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.


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ryankelly97 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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

Coarse Language: Several swear words heard through the book.


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

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


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Wesley the Owl, Stacey O'Brien

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