Cover image for An owl in the house : a naturalist's diary
An owl in the house : a naturalist's diary
Calaprice, Alice.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Joy Street Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
119 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
A field journal tracking the development of a great horned owlet, rescued in the wild, as it grows into an independent hunter able to survive in its own habitat.
General Note:
Adaptation of: One man's owl / by Bernd Heinrich.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL696.S83 C34 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



An invitation for young naturalists to share in the experience of watching a great horned owlet become a mature bird. This day by day journal charts the young owl's development and is a chronicle of how the author and Bubo come to know each other over three summers spent in the Maine woods. A story in itself, this also provides young naturalists with an example of the process of scientific observation and discovery, and shows them how to go about keeping their own field journal.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-8. When the author found a great horned owlet half-frozen in the snow near his house in Vermont, he took the tiny bird home and raised him to maturity. Adapted from the adult book One Man's Owl by science book editor Alice Calaprice, this first-person diary details the first two years of Bubo's life. Heinrich describes the owl's changing behavior and development as well as the bond that evolved between himself and the owl, enriching his narrative with anecdotes and personal observations. Concluding chapters cover the great horned owl, keeping a nature diary, and problems that can occur when raising baby birds. Meticulous pencil drawings and black-and-white photographs are well placed in this attractively designed book. An excellent nonfiction read-aloud that will engage listeners and send young naturalists to other titles about these magnificent creatures. --Barbara Elleman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-6 --Heinrich adopted a great horned owlet that he found nearly frozen to death in the Vermont woods and kept it for three years, training it to hunt for its food. This fascinating book, written in diary form, details changes in the owl's appearance as he grows, his awakening interest in the natural world around him, and his continual preoccupation with food and its capture. A chapter detailing the fall and winter Bubo spent caged at a raptor center (for injured birds of prey) shows the sad effects of raising an owl in captivity. The necessity of providing the owl with meals of recently killed animals should discourage most young people from wanting one as a pet. Illustrated with black-and-white photos of Bubo and Heinrich's lifelike sketches of the young owl, there are also drawings of feathers, talons, skulls, and foot/leg anatomy. The diary is an edited version of One Man's Owl (Princeton Univ. Pr, 1987), which includes the scientific observations of Heinrich and others relating to Bubo's behavior. This version for children ends with two pages of factual information on the great horned owl and instructions for keeping a nature diary. Of the many children's books on owls, only Farley Mowat's fictionalized Owls in the Family (Little, 1962) describes the habits of a captured owl. His account of the antics of two pet owls would provide a nice companion piece to Heinrich's diary. --Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.