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

Extended Audio Sample Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl Audiobook, by Stacey O’Brien Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,146 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stacey O’Brien Narrator: Renée Raudman Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2008 ISBN: 9781400180592
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On Valentine's Day 1985, biologist Stacey O'Brien met a four-day-old baby barn owl—a fateful encounter that would turn into an astonishing nineteen-year saga. With nerve damage in one wing, the owlet's ability to fly was forever compromised, and he had no hope of surviving on his own in the wild. O'Brien, a young assistant in the owl laboratory at Caltech, was immediately smitten, promising to care for the helpless owlet and give him a permanent home. Wesley the Owl is the funny, poignant story of their dramatic two decades together. With both a tender heart and a scientist's eye, O'Brien studied Wesley's strange habits intensively—and provided a mice-only diet that required her to buy the rodents in bulk (28,000 over the owl's lifetime). As Wesley grew, O'Brien snapped photos of him at every stage like any proud parent, recording his life from a helpless ball of fuzz to a playful, clumsy adolescent to a gorgeous, gold-and-white, macho adult owl with a heart-shaped face and an outsize personality that belied his eighteen-inch stature. Stacey and Wesley's bond deepened as she discovered Wesley's individual personality, subtle emotions, and playful nature that could also turn fiercely loyal and protective—though she could have done without Wesley's driving away her would-be human suitors! O'Brien also brings us inside the prestigious research community, where resident owls sometimes flew freely from office to office and eccentric, brilliant scientists were extraordinarily committed to studying and helping animals; all of them were changed by the animal they loved. As O'Brien gets close to Wesley, she makes important discoveries about owl behavior, intelligence, and communication, coining the term "The Way of the Owl" to describe his inclinations: he did not tolerate lies, held her to her promises, and provided unconditional love, though he was not beyond an occasional sulk. When O'Brien develops her own life-threatening illness, the biologist who saved the life of a helpless baby bird is herself rescued from death by the insistent love and courage of this wild animal. Wesley the Owl is a thoroughly engaging, heartwarming, often funny story of a complex, emotional, nonhuman being capable of reason, play, and, most important, love and loyalty. It is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Heartwarming.... This memoir will captivate animal lovers. Publishers Weekly Starred Review
  • “This compelling story sheds a bright, shining light into the world of animal emotions and the powerful bonds forged between animals and humans. A heartfelt journey of life and love with one of nature’s wild creatures, Wesley the Owl is a must-read story of faith, compassion, and selfless devotion.”

    Jay Kopelman, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Sweet, quirky memoir…This little guy’s such a character.”

    USA Today

  • “This memoir will captivate animal lovers and, though not necessarily for kids, should hold special appeal for Harry Potter fans who’ve always envied the boy wizard his Hedwig.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hill3569 | 2/13/2014

    " This was a GREAT book. Loved it! A few weird parts that I skipped over but all in all and awesome read and you'll learn a bunch of things about owls that you never knew. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alyss Anderson | 2/3/2014

    " Amazing book. Love the relationship she develops with the owl "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bunnie O'hara | 1/21/2014

    " wesley is an extrordinary bird. adopted when he was just a baby by biologist obrian, cared for and studied for nineteen years. she discovered numerous facts about the barn owl such as the ears are at different levels on each side of the head to facilitate hearing his pray--the ability to turn the head almost completely around,eyes that do not move like ours which cause the owl to turn it's head to see. the love of water in a creature that normally does not like water. his diet of rodents --stacey had provided him with approx. 2800 over his life time.you will love wesley!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sofia | 12/14/2013

    " This is the best "my animal and I" book I have ever read. O'Brien is honest, writes with clarity and conveys the soul of an animal many of us will never see up close or at all with absolute brilliance. I finished the book feeling that Stacey and Wesley had been part of my life all along and I am forever grateful for their presence. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendalyn Thuma | 12/8/2013

    " Beautiful story. I've read it probably 3 times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nick Stengel | 12/6/2013

    " Sooo cute! Full of interesting owlish facts and a fun story to boot. As a dog person, the best part was appreciating the differences between a pack socialized animal and a solitary predator. An excellent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 12/3/2013

    " Fascinating read. Loved Wesley and really appreciated how the author was able to tell Wesley's story without a lot of melodrama and without making the story about her, though she could have easily done so given her health issues. Have you read the story of Dewey the Library Cat? That one annoyed the tar out of me because the author made the story at least as much about her as about Dewey. You won't find that here. At all. Instead you'll find a compelling story about a remarkable owl told clearly, cleanly, but still with a great deal of love - and you'll find yourself paying attention to the sounds of the night more than ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 12/2/2013

    " Not amazing on the writing front, but loved learning about Wesley, and about the connection he and Stacey shared. Sort of leaves you with a sense of how we are all connected. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elli | 12/1/2013

    " A record of biologist researcher and her owl given by the research center at Cal Tech. A fifteen year documented record. Especially interesting since owls are not a social animal in the sense others can be. Also not a tractable animal. Yet a very unusual but loving relationship established. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nan | 11/10/2013

    " Great story about owls. Wesley and his bond with Stacey is interesting, but my favorite parts are about the eccentric animal naturalists Stacey works with in California. I would also recommend books by the environmentalist Farley Mowat. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caren | 10/1/2013

    " Enjoyed the "owl" parts, but not thrilled about the author's ramblings of her own personal life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aline Kolankowski | 9/14/2013

    " This was such an amazing book. I have always loved owls and the relationship was truly remarkable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 8/2/2013

    " I loved this book. Amazing story! Funny and heartbreaking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brianna | 4/22/2013

    " I absolutely loved this book. It was captivating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pinky | 11/23/2012

    " I am a sucker for remarkable animal stories. Had a hard time with all of the mice and owl pellets. Still, I really appreciated the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Natalie | 6/19/2012

    " Loved the actual story and photos, the writing not so much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marisela | 5/26/2012

    " Can't remember when I read (heard) this one, however, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was good to hear the trails and tribulations of raising an owl. Although something like this would be illegal today, in the time of this book it was appropriate for this lady to do this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Indra | 2/22/2012

    " Unique memoir...I learned a lot about owls and animals in general. I think most any animal lover would enjoy it, and it would even be appropriate for some YA readers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 2/21/2012

    " I'm a sucker for a good animal-human relationship story. Loved Wesley and his personality but the writing wasn't the best I've ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate Rodbro | 7/14/2011

    " II loved this memoir. Stacey O'Brien did a great job of balancing her own memories of life with Wesley with interesting facts about owls. I loved the picture section as well. Wesley, What a charmer! I'm a sucker for animal memoirs and his one was so sweet. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Whitney | 7/1/2011

    " The story is fascinating, but the prose is really lacking. I wish she had a ghost writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kishwar | 6/26/2011

    " most entertaining non-fiction i have read in a long time!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kat | 5/20/2011

    " This is a beautiful story about a young biologist and barn owl take are of each other for almost two decades. I read this book in about 2 days, I couldn't stop reading it! so lovely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darcy | 5/6/2011

    " Tommy and I are reading this together, and I had to skip ahead. We both really really like it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alexiss | 4/24/2011

    " Two stars because the pictures were cute and it started out pretty interesting, but the author is psychotic and I hated her with a passion. I wish I'd read past the first few chapters before buying it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 4/9/2011

    " Fascinating story. Learned a ton about owls. Laughed out loud. My only issue ... I'm a bit sad for Stacey, she puts so much in the relationship with Wesley, the barn owl, there is not much left for human relationships. It almost seems like life has passed her by .... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alyssa | 4/7/2011

    " Oh my goshes I loved this book. That probably had something to do with the fact that I absolutely adore owls, but I thought it was just so cute. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 paula | 4/2/2011

    " Stacey, a biologist, rescues a baby owl and grows as close to him as many do to a beloved dog. Her love for her companion is captured in her prose, and her detailed descriptions of his behaviors very interesting. A lovely read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonnie | 3/30/2011

    " Loved it!! Some parts were weird but Wesley touched my heart. Everytime I see a Barn Owl I will think of Wesley. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Corey | 3/21/2011

    " What a wonderful read. Amazing story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laila | 3/14/2011

    " Really enjoyed this book! It was a good read perfect for a summer read or on a vacation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Havilah | 3/13/2011

    " I can't resist books about animals, especially birds. This book is so sweet and an easy read. "

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About the Author

Stacey O’Brien is trained as a biologist specializing in wild-animal behavior. She graduated from Occidental College with a BS in biology and continued her education at Caltech. Stacey now works as a wildlife rescuer and rehabilitation expert with a variety of local animals, including the endangered brown pelican, owls, seabirds, possums, and songbirds. She lives in Southern California.

About the Narrator

Renée Raudman is an actor and multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. She has performed on film, television, radio, and on stage and can also be heard in several video games and hundreds of television and radio voice-overs.