Book #21 for 2016
PopSugar Challenge Categories:
– A NYT bestseller
– An autobiography
Read Harder Task:
– Read a nonfiction book about science
If you know me well at all, you know I’m kind of a nut about owls. The owl was my high school mascot, and it is the unofficial symbol of a social organization to which I belong. I count myself lucky to be currently living in a part of the country where it doesn’t take much effort to go watch owls in the wild. I even live just down the street from a raptor rescue facility. I’ve given some thought to volunteering there, but after reading this book, I think I would stick to support work that would let me admire the birds from a distance. As much as it pains me to admit it, I don’t think I have it in me to go hands-on with an owl.
I really have to admire Stacey O’Brien. This woman devoted 18 years of her life to raising this one bird. And I do mean devoted. Her entire life revolved around Wesley’s, and finding people who were cool with that had to have been incredibly challenging. Not to mention all the dead mice. Yeah, that would be the deal-killer for me, right there. But Stacey stepped up and provided everything Wesley needed to grow and thrive.
This book is largely about the incredible bond that Stacey and Wesley shared, but it is also full of fascinating information. Some of it I already knew, but there was much that was new to me, and Stacey shared this scientific knowledge in a very accessible manner. She also discussed the ethics of dealing with animals in scientific research.
She did get a little repetitive in spots, and there was a bit of spiritualistic stuff that I took with a grain of salt, but this is a moving and edifying narrative. It is well worth the read for anybody with an interest in owls or just the relationship between humans and animals in general.