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 communicator 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 mirror 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 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 photographs, 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. Translated into eight languages and named an Audubon Magazine Editor’s Choice, Wesley the Owl is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I wish there were more stars to give this book! I was caught from the first page by this wonderful story. How I admire this young woman for her bravery, caring, kindness, intelligence, work ethics, and on and on! I fell in love with Wesley! And, as Stacey said would happen, I cried when he died. Oh, yes!! There is a heaven for our wonderful animal loves - and we will see them again. It's just the getting on without them that is hard. I still tear up over my beautiful Juanita, gone 2 years now. I recommend this book for anyone - not just animal lovers. Everyone will read about a true love between beings that is so life confirming. Bless you, Stacey, for sharing!
An absolutely BEAUTIFUL, story! Stacey O'Brien is a lovely person, a true "renaissance woman", gifted in so many ways, including being a terrific writer. Her personal story of her relationship with Wesley the Owl (a magnificent being!) was beautifully told. Had me laughing out loud at times and crying at others. Extremely touching.
It is a story of motherhood, friendship, loyalty, and above all--love. This book is not just for anyone who loves animals, an owl enthusiast, or a nature lover. This story will touch the hearts of anyone who has yearned for a connection--a connection with another being, a connection with Mother Earth, or a connection with our Creator. It is THAT good!
Thank you, Stacey O'Brien for sharing your story.
With nearly eighty reviews at the time I write this, there probably isn't much more stellar insight that I can give, which hasn't already been given so much more eloquently. However, I will add my voice to the growing collection in appreciation for the amazing story and for the brave author. This book, for me, was one of my "on a whim" buys. I was poking around for information about owls one night, and the book popped up in the particular search that I was doing. The cover appealed to me, the "Look Inside" feature captured my attention, and I was indeed interested in learning "The Way of the Owl" concept because I actually wondered if it could be compared / contrasted in any fashion to "The Way of the Tao" of Chinese philosophy, the embracing of harmony, allowing nature to take its course, the recognition, yet appreciation for opposites, Yin Yang, etc. I know that is a strange connection to have made! However, something in the preview material I read and the circle-shaped picture on...
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