An engaging and inspirational memoir of raising and living with an abandoned barn owl that became a New York Times bestseller.

When biologist Stacey O'Brien met a four-day-old baby barn owl, little did she know that this fateful encounter would turn into an astonishing 19-year-saga. With nerve damage in one wing, the owlet had no hope of surviving on his own in the wild. O'Brien was immediately smitten, promising to care for the helpless owlet and give him a permanent home.

With both a tender heart and a scientist's eye, O'Brien records his life from a helpless ball of fuzz to a playful, clumsy adolescent to a gorgeous, gold-and-white, adult owl with a heart-shaped face. Their bond deepens as she discovers Wesley's outsize personality, subtle emotions and playful nature. When O'Brien develops her own life-threatening illness, the biologist is rescued from death by the insistent love and courage of this wild animal.

Wesley is a thoroughly engaging, heart-warming, often funny story of a complex emotional, non-human being capable of reason, play and, most important, love and loyalty. It is sure to be cherished by animal lovers everywhere.

'O'Brien's heartwarming story is buttressed by lessons on owl folklore, temperament, skills and the brain structure that gives them some amazing abilities, like spotting a mouse "under three feet of snow by homing in on just the heartbeat". It also details her working life among fellow scientists, a serious personal health crisis, and the general ins and outs of working with animals. 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.

Stacey O'Brien is trained as a biologist specialising in wild-animal behaviour. She graduated from Occidental College with a BS in biology and continued her education at Caltech. She 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.

Random House Australia
Author: Stacey O'Brien
ISBN: 9781741669305
Price: $24.95