Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl

Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl

by Stacey O'Brien
4.4 127

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Wesley the Owl 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 127 reviews.
amygirl More than 1 year ago
I have always been very fond of animals. I picked up this book after reading about it here on B&N. I am so glad I did! This book was a fantastic combination of all sorts of things. Here are some words that come to mind as I attempt to describe this book: memoir, touching, inspiring, science, history, education, comical, thought-provoking, spiritual, sad, a love story. You will laugh and cry and get grossed out and feel so many different emotions and learn about relationships and animals all at the same time. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend reading it.
DiBowers More than 1 year ago
My daughter bought this book for me and my first thought was, "Uh-oh... she is giving me another animal story that will just make me feel sad." So I put off reading it for a while. Finally I picked it up, and then I could not stop reading. I do love animals and have cared for many. But this book was not sad until the very end when, of course, Wesley had lived a very long and happy life and it was time for him to go. Wesley lasted 19 years, which is longer than any owl in captivity. First, I could not believe that Stacy ended up giving 19 years of life to make her owl her priority. Wesley demanded that of her and she gave her time and life with him willingly. In the process, she had the most unique experiences. In Wesley's eyes and heart, she became his owl girlfriend as well as his mother and caregiver. I could not believe how much the two were able to communicate. It's just amazing to discover the owl's thought process. His antics do make you laugh. I don't read books more than once, but I may make an exception for this one. It was the most unique, enchanting, enlightening and loving story about a girl and her owl. I keep telling all my friends and family members about Wesley because I just can't help it!
Nonna_at_Sharon More than 1 year ago
An absorbing book, I have recommended it to many friends. Not only is the story fascinating, but the reader learns so much about Owls and animal research.
The_BibliophileJM More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting centuries for a book this good to fall into my hands! This is the perfect book for any and all animal lovers. I learned so much from this book about owls that I never knew, and now that I have this knowledge, I love owls even more than I already did, and I have a whole new respect for them. I have to admit, I questioned this book for a long time when I saw it at the store. I saw it many times over the course of the year but just couldn't bring myself to buy it for fear that a biologist would write in boring drones. I can't tell you how glad I am that I finally took the plunge and bought this book. Stacey goes WAY above and beyond my expectations in this book with her writng skills and her ability to connect to her audiance. If yu are looking for an easy, interesting, touching, and refreshing read, your best bet is to go and buy Wesley The Owl.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
I never really thought much about barn owls. I assumed that, like other wild birds, they flew around, ate mice, and hung around in barns. Surely they weren't very intelligent. My understanding of these beautiful birds completely changed when I read Wesley the Owl. In this amazing story, author Stacey O'Brien describes the 19 years that Wesley lived with her. The remarkable owl came into O'Brien's life at the tender age of four days. O'Brien, a biologist, was working in the owl research lab at CalTech when her supervisor asked if she'd be willing to adopt a fledgling (baby) barn owl with an injured wing. Fortunately, O'Brien had experience with owls and had the full support and assistance of others working at CalTech. Raising an owl is a lot of work! O'Brien recounts Wesley's infancy, adolescence and adulthood, all the while inserting sweet stories of how the two, human and owl, bonded over time. At first, Wesley treated O'Brien as his mother and was friendly to others, including the household dog. But as he grew, the handsome owl began to see O'Brien as his mate and challenged all others. O'Brien also includes mention of her early attempts at securing a steady supply of mice, dealing with the unpleasant necessities of prepping said mice for Wesley and reactions of others to her unusual housemate (including short lived boyfriends who couldn't get over the strange demands Wesley made of O'Brien). The author inserts just enough background information on barn owls to be interesting without lulling the reader to sleep. Facts on these birds are spread out between the various chapters and include tidbits such as a barn owl's ability to find a mouse under three feet of snow by listening to its heartbeat. Other facts, such as barn owls dislike of water is disproven by Wesley who developed a deep love of the bathtub. Well-written, engaging, and entertaining, this book is sure to be enjoyed by animal lovers. Quill says: A fascinating and touching story about a young scientist and her owl.
Bookworm622LG More than 1 year ago
I was scanning the book shelves in the Science section for no particular reason when my eyes settled on "Wesley The Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl And His Girl." I picked it up and and began to read. Twenty-three minutes later I pulled my nose out of the book with the full realization that this was one I had to buy - in hard back! The author carries the reader along as she relives for you the complex and intimate relationship she and Wesley build over his lifetime. In the course she educates the reader about the barn owl and owls in general. The scientific/biological information is very good and presented in an intersting manner, but I found myself in tears laughing as I read about Wesley's antics and then in sorrow as I read about his death. The author's writing style tends to wander in a couple of spots, but this just was a book I couldn't and didn't want to put down. I just wish she'd write a children's version of this story. There are many things in it that young readers would enjoy learning about this marvelous creature. I highly recommend this book.
sofihuasteca More than 1 year ago
"A love story about a girl and her owl" Every biologists dream, college biology student Stacey O' Brian is offered an unbelievable volunteer job, the once in a lifetime chance to "adopt" and care for a new born baby barn owl in her home. A wonderful true story and flied with comical anecdotes that is bound to keep anyone entertained. Scientists and non-scientists alike will rave about this book. This book is truly moving. It is a drama, a love story, an informative text, it is just about everything. It made me cry tears of sadness, and of joy. It helped me open my eyes about the capacities of nonhuman species, especially birds, I never though there were. I never imagined the amazing traits owls could have. This book actually changed the course of my life, I will now study birds along with mammals. The way Stacey describes the antics of her feathered friend, both scientifically and motherly. Her attachment to "her" owl also sets this book apart from others. She speaks in a scientific manor, but also reminds us that animals are our fellow beings and not just subjects. Stacey tells a great story, and keeps you captivated because of her crafty way of telling it. You actually learn from this book and have a story to follow as well, keeping it fun. A story behind a story, tidbits of Stacey's personal life weaved in with the Wesley's hilarious antics. Animal behavior and storytelling come together. 19 years of memories and scientific notes with Wesley the barn owl. I really love this book. An amazing, fantastic, highly recommendable book!
Penny70CO More than 1 year ago
Read it ONLY with a strong stomach. I thought it would be a 'cute' story about this little owl that Stacey saved but it was far from that. I finally had to stop reading it when she described in detail, how Wesley masturbated on her arm regularly and how the man in her department had worms inside his body noticably crawling around under his skin in the name of research!

I'm 70 years old and have done a lot of reading in my life - I even grew up in a Cemetery so can handle 'gross' - but this was way out of my realm of enjoyment.
pinkrose More than 1 year ago
Wesley The Owl is a phenominal book! The author combines scientific information on barn owls, while telling a about her eighteen year love story with her remarkable pet-Wesley the owl. You will laugh out loud, learn, (more than you want to know about mice!)and even cry at times. I cannot say enough about the authors love and devotion for Wesley, who gave her copious amounts of owl-love in return. He is so intelligent, with an emotional range that defies the preconceived notions we have about animals. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all animal lovers. You will feel better about after having read it, and it will put a smile on your face many many times.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In this book, Stacey O'Brien tells an extraordinary story of her owl, Welsey. It is an unforgettable that captures the readers attention. Welsey shows love, compatiblity, and the way of the owl. I counld not stop reading this warm hearting book. It truley is a remarkable love story of an owl and his girl.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a devoted follower on live streaming video of an owl box on UStream.com, I learned about this book from fellow chatters. This book will surprise you! While it is filled with scientific info about barn owls, the real story here is the loving relationship between the author and the barn owl she raised in her home. This is a love story-there's no other way to describe it. You will laugh and ultimately, you will cry. The writing is competent;perhaps not the best but still very readable. I am an avid reader and found I couldn't put this book down. Take the journey with Stacey and her owl Wesley. I promise that you won't regret it!
flygirlAC More than 1 year ago
Owls are my favorite animal, so I was drawn to Wesley, but I would recommend it to people who just like animals in general. The writing is pretty decent, even though O'Brien isn't a writer-per se. It was a nice light read with some great stories to tell.
Iloveagoodbook More than 1 year ago
Wow. I saw this book and thought, this is gonna be good. And it was. I love animals. Thats why I've decided to be a zookeeper. Reading this book showed me that animals have this connection with people, that most poeple dont have with other humans. You can turn a bird of prey, into a bird of love, just by loving and caring for it. You can bond with an animal you normally wouldnt bond with just by talking to it and showing affection. It was a wonderful story. Sad at the end, but knowing the life Wesley had was a good one made it a happier ending.
B-2 More than 1 year ago
The book is a story of a live-in barn owl told in a way the people would tell the story of their beloved dog or cat. It certainly will teach you a lot about owls .... also about the author herself. The book is written in a warm and sincere way, and my children ( ages 6 and 8) enjoyed many of the passages describing Wesley's adventures. In my opinion, it's only (forgivable) sin is - sometimes- author's understandable slips into some "anthropomorphization" of her friend. I grade the books as Buy and Keep (BK), Read Library book and Return ( RLR) and Once I Put it Down I Couldn't Pick it Up ( OIPD-ICPU). This one is at least RLR and for me it was BK.
JessZ More than 1 year ago
As a raptor rehabilitation volunteer, I was looking for books on raptors and happened across this gem. "Wesley the Owl" is for every animal lover who has known that, deep inside, there is often as much wisdom as love bestowed upon us by our companions and it's not until the end that we realize how much better we are because of their presence. I laughed out loud, was amazed and bewildered by the antics of a barn owl, and cried in the end (it is a true story afterall, so there has to be a bittersweet end). I have had the blessing of knowing such magical creatures as owls and Wesley is one I feel like I know intimately thanks to Stacey O'Brien.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received this as a gift late on December 30th and had completed the entire book by mid day on the January 1st. It is easy to read and follow and I love that Stacey is not only compassionate about animals but also a biologist (I too am a biologist) and therefore her facts and statements about owls are very trustworthy. While many may yearn for their own chance to share their lives with a magnificent bird of prey, Stacey keeps those feelings in check by outlining the remarkable amount of responsibility it was to raise such a pet. Wesley's personality and antics will definitely keep you hooked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed out loud during some of the sections of this book. It is such a lovely story. It shows that owls and other creatures have emotions and feelings just like we do. I never wanted this book to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wesley the Owl, The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl is a heartfelt memoir about a young scientist, Stacey O¿Brien and the four-day-old barn owl she adopts and spends almost 20 years with. Wesley teaches Stacey ¿The Way of the Owl¿, which is how Stacey describes his personality. Wesley couldn¿t tolerate lies, made sure she kept her promises and loved her unconditionally. The book is part biology text, with fascinating tidbits about owls, their habits and habitats, part humorous essay with stories delineating the differences between poop, sh*t and scat in scientist parlance, but mostly, all heart. Anyone who has ever loved an animal can tell you that they can communicate with us, something that science hasn¿t always agreed with. I loved the interaction between owl and human, and the depth that interaction had. The book doesn¿t make you want to rush right out and adopt an owl, thank goodness, since this isn¿t exactly legal anymore. But it makes you feel a deeper appreciation of the animals in your own lives. It brought back to me the endings of my much loved pets time with me, and made me dread the future when our sweet little Cookie mutt is old. Yet it also makes us aware of how much our animals enrich our lives. If we chose to share our lives with an animal, we have to understand that, with a few exceptions, we¿ll eventually lose them to age and death. But we do it anyway, we love our critters, dogs, cats, lizards, spiders, turtles, fish, snakes, birds, hamsters, rats, mice¿.all of them. If we can treat our ¿pets¿ as what they really are to us, loving companions with complex emotions, we¿ll all be better people for it. And if we could all live ¿The Way of the Owl¿, we¿d have a better world for it. This terrific book is available for purchase today, August 19th.
FlounderPF More than 1 year ago
A fantastic book. Very interesting which tells a personal story about living with owls but also a book which teaches about owls. I would highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TheCatsMeow1 More than 1 year ago
While reading Stacey O'Brien;s memoir about her barn owl, I felt every emotion possible on the spectrum. I felt her joy, pain, and true sense of partnership with Wesley over the years. Stacey has an ability to write intelligently  using real life to inform her readers not only of the story of her owl but the animals that she has experienced as well. Most biologists write scientifically void of personality, but she captures the reader's attention and holds it. I never imagined how interesting owls were until I had read this book. Nor did I truly comprehend the amount of emotion and profound grief these beautiful creatures can experience after a mate dying. They are highly sensitive, intelligent, and misunderstood creatures. I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading about the life of a relationship so pure and beautiful as the on O'Brien and Wesley had. I think those people who don't consider themselves sensitive will be shocked. I think this was a graceful memorial to Wesley the owl as now, through O'Brien's novel of his story, love, and compassion can be shared with everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never realized how sensitive animals are! This is a wonderful book that tells the journey of Wesley-it will make you look at all animals differently, I loved it and would recommend it. S. Dolan
JudyinSeattle More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this a great deal. It is both laugh making and sad but worth the read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago