When I finished this book, I felt much the same way I did when I finished Jane Goodall’s book In the Shadow of Man. That is, I felt privileged to have been made a part of an intimate relationship with a wild animal, one that revealed more of our similarities than our differences.
Stacey O’Brien adopted the injured four-day-old barn owl Wesley while she was working as a biologist at Caltech. Wesley not only imprinted onto Stacey, but bonded with her as a mate, and over his remarkable nineteen-year life span, taught her “The Way of the Owl.”
The facts you will learn about the hunting, mating, nesting, and even playing behaviors of owls will amaze you, and the ways in which Stacey and Wesley learned to communicate with enchant you. Stacey had no doubt that Wesley understood her oft-repeated phrases and ideas, and that she understood Wesley’s chirps and screetches and cries.
Stacey’s honesty and passion in her account of her time with Wesley are nothing short of endearing and delightful. But this is not just a “me and my pet” story; there is plenty of science in this book, from empirical observations about owls in particular, to biological data about other species and habitats.
Stacey’s insights into animal behavior and the tale of the love she shared with Wesley will not disappoint you. Highly recommended!
Published by Free Press, 2008