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( Read Kindle ) ⚸ The Hidden Lives of Owls: The Science and Spirit of Nature's Most Elusive Birds ⚢ 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 Forestoften In The Dead Of Night These Birds Are A Bit Mysterious, And Thats 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 Owls have a special place in our household To begin with, we live on Owl Creek Road Scattered throughout the house are a dozen or so figures of owls in wood, stone, and ceramic, as well as a few drawings of owls Owls are in the neighborhood, and recently as I stepped out the back door a Screech Owl glided down no than two feet over my head and perched in a pion about fifteen feet away So THE HIDDEN LIVES OF OWLS was a natural for me.When author Leigh Calvez became fascinated with owls she began taking trips to see different species, often with expert owl naturalists Since Calvez lives in the Pacific Northwest, most of those trips took place in that region In THE HIDDEN LIVES OF OWLS, Calvez writes about her owling missions and the birds she saw The book is instructive for someone like me who has an affinity for owls but is not very knowledgeable about them Serious students of owls, however, may find it rather simplistic In addition, while Calvez touches upon some of the complicated issues relating to the prospects of long term survival of several owl species, she does not discuss any in detail.The owls Calvez writes about are the following Northern Saw Whet Owls, Flammulated Owls, Snowy Owls, Northern Spotted Owls, Barred Owls, Burrowing Owls, Northern Pygmy Owls, Long Eared and Short Eared Owls, and Great Gray Owls.I learned a fair amount For example, I had never read before or if I did, it had not stuck that the disk like face of most owls funnels sound to their ears, which are asymmetrically placed, one higher than the other this enables owls to better pinpoint prey in three dimensions during their nighttime hunting Pygmy Owls, which are daytime predators, rely on sight than hearing, and they don t have the facial disk common to most owls I also learned about the asynchronous hatching practiced by most owls They do not postpone incubation until all the eggs in the clutch are laid instead they begin to incubate each egg immediately after it is laid, with the result that chicks in the same nest can be up to two weeks apart in age and development.I have several quibbles with the book For my preferences, Calvez tends too much towards anthropomorphism, as if the owls she is watching think like her and have feelings like her The book also is a tad too personal and sentimental for my taste The writing is congenial, but at times rather mindless for example, we are told that with life in the wild there are no guarantees, and in describing a climb up a steep slope, Calvez writes I slipped and slid, one step forward and two steps back How, then, did she make it to the top Finally, I find the subtitle of the book The Science and Spirit of Nature s Most Elusive Birds rather fatuous Still and all, I enjoyed the book. Only about a third of this book is about owls at most another third is about the author and another is gratuitous musings the editor if any neglected to excise There are no photos or drawings of the owls or their habitats nor, of the people or paraphernalia described in muddled detai Each chapter has a handsome but iconic drawing of each owl that would be very nice on a calendar but don t convey the particular spirit of the i particular owl portrayed Finally, the writing is a slog It you re curious about these awesome creatures, there are much better alternatives. I really enjoyed this book It felt like a gentle step into the life of the woman writing it, and also into the lives of the birds that she found I liked the personal comments she made about herself, as she worked and learned to see these birds For those who didn t like her personal reflections, maybe the problem was in the title, referring to the science of these owls Anyone can pick up a bird book, and read about the details of a particular bird, which this does have, but really what I liked was this woman s story as she visited and in some cases worked with some of the experts in the field I could relate to those feelings, and enjoyed settling in and reading about the birds, and her She did not write this as an expert, but as someone fascinated with owls, and interested in learning , and experiencing their lives I didn t get bored I like the word gentle, to describe what she has created here.