Saturday, February 1, 2014
Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien
Wesley was a 4 day old injured fledgling barn owl when Stacey O'Brien, a biologist working with owls at CalTech met him. His injury was such that he could not be habilitated to survive in the wild successfully, and he was placed in Stacey's care. This book is the story of the remarkable relationship that followed over the next 19 years. It's a wonderful story, full of juicy facts for bird lovers, and wonderful stories for animal lovers in general, both heartwarming and heart-breaking. And yes, Wesley dies in the end, but not before surpassing the life expectancy of a barn owl in the wild, which is roughly 15 years. His distinct personality will remain with me as well as much that he and Stacey taught me. I also applaud the author, for she truly reshaped her life around her charge, even though she kept his presence in her life relatively quiet, for fear of activists who were bent on freeing "captured" wild animals setting Wesley loose into a habitat he would have been unable to survive.
The tag line for this book is "the remarkable love story of an owl and his girl." I couldn't agree more.