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One Man's Owl
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Not long after discovering a nest of Great Horned Owls on his property, a storm destroys part of the nest and one of the chicks falls to the ground. Heinrich, who can never resist an opportunity to study wild things up close, scoops the little fellow up, christens him Bubo and takes him home to raise. What ensues is a delightful, often revealing account of how an owl and a man struggle to cross the divide between species.
That both are determined is obvious. Heinrich puts up with all sorts of destructive and rude behavior from his childish guest. Bubo chews up, eats and regurgitates washcloths, favorite t-shirts and socks. He holds staring matches with the family cat, terrorizes guests, whom he considers competitors for Heindrich's attention, and rearranges Heindrich's eating and sleeping schedule. In return, Heindrich gets to study everything about the owl - from his eyelids and feather patterns to the mechanical workings of the owl's talons and the meanings of his various hoots and hisses. It is an uneasy if affectionate relationship.
However Heinrich, who works as a university professor, must eventually return to his job and Bubo is sent to a wildlife rehabilitation center. There, all attempts at rehabilitation fail and Bubo is pronounced incorrigable. It is also clear that Bubo is miserable. Heinrich, who feels this is a waste of Bubo's life, eventuallly reclaims the bird, takes him back to Maine and spends another summer helping the bird find his adult wings.
This is a revealing and touching story that goes way beyond the scientific study that Heinrich originally planned. As Heinrich himself acknowledges it became a very personal thing, a relationship between one man and one owl. A wonderful read.
Wonderful man ( Mr Heinrich ) , I do hope you find some one or bird to take the place of the OWL BUBO , that you looked after and
cared for , and then set free,, It makes you happy and sad at the same time,,,