London: Reaktion Books, 2009. Small octavo, paperback, colour photographs, illustrations.
Reaktion Animal Series.'The owls are not what they seem'. From ancient Babylon, to Edward Lear's "The Owl and the Pussycat" and the grandiloquent, absent-minded Wol from Winnie the Pooh, to David Lynch's "Twin Peaks", owls have woven themselves into the fabric of human culture from earliest times. Beautiful, silent, pitiless predators of the night, possessing contradictory qualities of good and evil, they are enigmatic creatures that dwell throughout the world yet barely make their presence known. In his fascinating new book "Owl" bestselling author and broadcaster Desmond Morris explores the natural and cultural history of one of nature's most popular creatures. Morris describes the evolution, the many species, and the wide spread of owls around the world - excluding Antarctica, owls are found on every land mass, ranging in size from 28 centimeters (the Least Pygmy Owl) to more than 70 centimeters tall (the Eurasian Eagle Owl). As a result of their wide distribution, owls also occur in the folk-tales, myths and legends of many native peoples, and Morris explores all these, as well as the many examples of owls in art, film, literature and popular culture.
A new title by an acclaimed and well-known author, and featuring many telling illustrations from nature and culture, "Owl" will appeal to the many devotees of this emblematic bird. Despite the fact that many have never seen or even heard an owl, he illustrates through this enticing read that the owl's presence is still very real to us today.
Price: $25.00 AU