I love owls. Everyone loves owls don’t they? How could you not?
I don’t have a lot of time for blog writing this week thanks to a mammoth work project, so I’m going to let these books largely speak for themselves.
Owls: Our Most Enchanting Bird – Matt Sewell
Read this one if you’re looking for: a quirky field guide. The text is delightfully off the wall (the Eurasian Eagle Owl is described as having ‘talons like butcher’s hooks, wings like pub doors, a massive neck like a Turkish weightlifter…‘) and the illustrations are wonderful.
The Secret Life of the Owl – John Lewis-Stempel
Read this one if you’re looking for: something more poetic. As far as nature writing goes, you’re always in safe hands with JLS. This is a slimmer volume and certainly doesn’t set out to be an all-encompassing guide to the owl. Instead, it’s a collection of brief descriptions of Britain’s owls – almost vignettes really – bookended by poems and essays that explore the history and mythology of owls where they intersect with humans.
Owl Sense – Miriam Darlington
Read this one if you’re looking to: get out into the field. Reading Darlington’s book was a bit like having a conversation with a friend. She’s interesting, personable and truly dedicated to getting her feet muddy and seeing owls in their natural habitats. While she acknowledges the folklore surrounding the owl, her focus is on separating myth from reality and experiencing owls as tangibly as possible, rather than as the fleeting shadow or distant hoot that is the closest many of us have come. It’s a book about connections – be they ecological or emotional – between people, and between people and owls.