Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research 19.1 (Spring 2009): 134. © 2009 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Although the text is partly written as a first-person narrative, most of it is a succinct, interesting summary of comparative owl biology, rather than a series of individual species accounts, which tend to repeat already available information. In-text literature citations aren’t used, but the authors of major research findings are identified and their work referenced in a literature section with nearly 300 citations, some published as recently as 2005.

I have more than a dozen owl books on my office bookshelves, a testimony to their popularity among both biologist-authors and the reading public, but probably none is so attractive and accessibly informative as this one. Through the work of missionaries such as Wayne Lynch and Robert Nero, the Canadian public’s understanding of and appreciation for owls has been greatly improved, to the point that three of Canada’s ten provinces have selected owls for their provincial emblems. As one who has seen dozens of wounded and dead owls senselessly and illegally shot by Nebraska hunters, I find some hope in the efforts of such eloquent Canadian spokesmen for the survival of these wonderful birds.