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The Owl Papers

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Mr. Maslow explores the history and ecology of an often misunderstood bird. He sloshed through the New Jersey Meadowlands in the hope of flushing an endangered short-eared owl.
Paperback, V813, 183 pages
Published November 19th 1988 by Vintage (first published November 14th 1983)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Wuenschel
The book was an easy read and a light overview of the broad subject of owls. The author seemed to over-zealously praise the order. Perhaps to make it more interesting, he cited various biological adaptations of owls in a manner which made them seem unique to owls, which I know were adaptations common to raptors. The writing seemed overdone to my taste.
Ann
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biog-autobiog, essays
p.143
They are the victims only of the relentless efficiency with which we produce and consume things. The common denominator in the case of nearly every bird species in decline is the loss of habitat. Economic growth has become falsely synonymous with the consumption of plains, forests, coasts, and marshes; with the systematic simplification of the environment - the transformation of large, diverse areas into smaller, more homogeneous ones.
Matthew
Jan 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Pleasant book concentrating on owl encounters in and around the author's home base in New York.

Nice inclusion of some international owl folklore and mythology.

One chapter is a frightening description of the "New Jersey Meadowlands", a former short-eared owl haven now choked with chemical waste, scrap metal, and corpse piles. Unfortunately, the description of this wasteland is the most evocative portion of the book.

The raccoon and skunk troubles and boating adventures on Martha's Vineyard were
...more
Cindy Jacobsen
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this as book 2 of the 2017 reading challenge in the category of "a book bought on a trip". Jonathan Maslow beautifully writes about owls over the course of seasons and weaves his observations with the history of owls and humanity. Although the book was written in the 80s, his observations feel current, especially the observations about human destruction of natural habitats.
Peter Szabo
Dec 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
So enjoyed this book, and not simply because I love owls! Many, perhaps most, books on a single species aimed at a popular audience can fall flat, either because they offer too much information, or too little, or because they offer too much enthusiasm, or too little... Maslow strikes just the right balance. And his book is very well written.
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Jonathan Maslow was a journalist and naturalist whose travels took him from the rain forests of Central America to the steppes of Central Asia. (NY Times)
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