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The Hidden Lives of Owls: The Science and Spirit of Nature's Most Elusive Birds (Paperback)
Leigh Calvez introduces readers to eleven different species of owls - animals she considers to be "in the world, but not of the world." Deeper than standard science writing, the book reflects upon the intersection between humans and threatened animals. Humans may be responsible for their loss of habitat, for example, but through citizen science we can also play a part in their survival. Anyone not already enthralled with these majestic birds will be after this thoughtful read. We may also do well to take some of Calvez's new-found owl wisdom to heart: "Take time to sit and observe," and "Be patient. Eventually something will move."— Rebecca
In this New York Times bestseller that will appeal to readers of H is for Hawk, a naturalist probes the forest to comprehend the secret lives of owls. Join Leigh Calvez on adventures into the world of owls: owl-watching, avian science, and the deep forest—often in the dead of night. These birds are a bit mysterious, and that’s part of what makes them so fascinating. Calvez makes the science entertaining and accessible while exploring the questions about the human-animal connection, owl obsession, habitat, owl calls, social behavior, and mythology.
About the Author
Leigh Calvez is a scientist and nature writer and the author of Whale Watching on the West Coast.
#9 on the New York Times Best Seller list (Animal Books)
2016 Washington State Book Award Finalist
“Leigh Calvez enters the world of owls with a sense of wonder as wide-eyed as her subjects. The reader shares every discovery along the way in this winning and heartfelt exploration.”
—Thor Hanson, author of Feathers and Bartholomew Quill
“Almost like spying on the neighbors, Leigh joins the brother- and sisterhood of nocturnal birders who track and measure night birds for science and for love. I’ve often wondered what the owls were saying to each other. The answer is surprising but inevitable, like all good stories.”
—Kathleen Alcalá, author of The Deepest Roots
“You’ll love going owling with superb naturalist and writer Leigh Calvez. Like the birds themselves, The Hidden Lives of Owls is filled with drama, mystery, and surprise. You’ll come away from this riveting book blessed with owl wisdom that will enlarge your world forever.”
—Sy Montgomery, author of Birdology and The Soul of an Octopus
“Naturalist Leigh Calvez looks into the almost-human eyes of these elusive birds and shares her riveting and well-told adventures of owling. Informative as it is captivating, this book is a compelling window into the science and secrets of these guardians of the forest.”
—Brenda Peterson, author of Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals
"Aims to entertain by sharing...owl adventures in the field, and by discussing mythology and owl obsession."
“Calvez probes the forest at night in search of answers to the mystery [of owls], exploring topics such as owl calls, social behavior and mythology attached to the species.”
—The Chicago Tribune
"Calvez writes with feeling and is obviously in awe of these mysterious creatures.”
“This enthusiastic study of the owls of the Pacific Northwest may inspire new fans and citizen scientists.”
“[Calvez] unravels the mysteries of owls.”
—Bainbridge Island Review
—Bozeman Daily Chronicle
“Leigh Calvez shares what she calls her ‘owl journey’ in this beautiful book, which is full of sensitive observations and high drama. It’s a pleasure to see the world through an owl’s eyes, a point of view that Leigh herself believes has enlarged her life. Certainly this book does the same for ours."
—Kristin von Kreisler, author of An Unexpected Grace and Earnest
“An owling delight.”
—The Owl Pages
“A thought-provoking, behind-the-scenes look.”
“An ode to the owl.”
—The Washington Post
“Reveals the natural history of 11 different owl species…while weaving in explorations of human-animal connections, mythology and owl obsession.”
“A look [at] the owls of the Northwest.”
“[An] illuminating journey.”
“Explorations of human-animal connections.”
“Leigh Calvez is an owl expert who will explain why they are simultaneously cooler and more disgusting than the Harry Potter books ever let on.”
“Leigh Calvez shares many such trivia-friendly tidbits while providing the definitive histories of 11 owl species.”
“It’s time to talk about owls.”
—The Seattle Review of Books
"Calvez’s The Hidden Life of Owls is particularly entertaining to read because she describes the adventures she has looking for and finding the owls… You will enjoy following Calvez’s adventures, as she begins to understand that the owls provide her with a way of “knowing something more” about her world than she has known before."
"Entertaining and enlightening… a worthwhile and enjoyable read."
"[Calvez's] writing integrates the luscious imagery of her surroundings along with the scientific data and analysis... it creates such an engaging reading experience."
"This book intertwines the natural history of eleven owl species with Calvez’s personal experiences, adventures and often, close encounters."
—Bird Watcher's Digest
"Bird lovers will enjoy."
—Peninsula Daily News