Review of “Wesley the Owl” by Stacey O’Brien

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!

Rating: 5/5

Published by Free Press, 2008

About rhapsodyinbooks

We're into reading, politics, and intellectual exchanges.
This entry was posted in Book Review and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Review of “Wesley the Owl” by Stacey O’Brien

  1. Pingback: Wanting Your OWN “Wesley the Owl”? « Rhapsodyinbooks’s Weblog

  2. Pingback: Wesley the Owl … Teddy Bear? « Rhapsodyinbooks’s Weblog

  3. Pingback: And Now For Some Good News for a Change: Really Cute Plush Wesley the Owl Flies Into the Marketplace « Rhapsodyinbooks’s Weblog

  4. Pingback: Pictures of Wesley the Owl « Rhapsodyinbooks’s Weblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.