Dead Owls Flying

DEAD OWLS FLYING By Leon R. Powers (2008)



Dead Owls Flying is part memoir, part wildlife adventure and part expose’ of a dark secret. At the heart of this story is Powers’ two-decade study of North America’s largest and possibly rarest owl, the great gray. A celebrity recluse, this huge bird long ago earned such monikers as Gray Ghost of the Woods, and Phantom of the Northern Forests. The embodiment of elusiveness, its rarity only adds to this owl’s mystique – prompting its lofty status among bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts as one of the most sought after birds in North America.

Beginning in 1986 Powers and two of his students began sleuthing out the presence of this rare owl in Long Valley, near Donnelly-McCall, Idaho. Although tracking this owl is a lot like chasing ghosts, the researchers located at least 30 great grays in parts of Long valley. But the passing of time beget troubling signs of habitat degradation. To investigate these ominous trends, Powers conducted a follow-up study between 1997 and 1999. By sheer coincidence, this low profile study propitiously coincided with and benchmarked the ongoing toll of the valley’s extreme make over – measuring the collateral damage to both valley habitat and its celebrity owls.

One of the few biologists to study this rare owl, Leon Powers spirits the reader in to the pungent loom of the owl’s forest home and into the intimate center of its reclusive life. Like all of Powers’ writing, Dead Owls Flying is written to inform, entertain and inspire.

Available from Look-About Books, P.O. Box 1907, Nampa, ID 83653. ($15.00 [includes tax] + $3.50 for shipping and handling = $18.50)

Reader Reviews

I LOVED THIS BOOK! And for the first time in 2 years I saw our ‘local’ in the Jughandle Estates. Thank you…”

Jonathan Holms (McCall, Idaho)

“I wanted you to know that I got up at 5 a.m. this morning to read a couple chapters of Dead Owls Flying. I love it. You are a wonderful writer and very fun to read. Thanks for sharing your experience with these wonderful creatures.” Danette Henderson (Boise, Idaho)

“What a fun read Dead Owls Flying was! I oved the way you wove in the insane development of Long Valley with the demise of the owls – all to true.

Thanks for writing two super books – I’ve got to give them to friends. Keep ‘em coming!” Dr. Chuck Trost (Pocatello, Idaho)

Dead Owls Flying arrived just in time for my birthday and I couldn’t have anticipated a finer gift. I’m enjoying it very much, and must admit that in my imagination I’ve been with you on each Great Gray Owl adventure…I like the way that you have the ability to put your adventures on paper so that the reader feels he/she is taking part right along with you. That’s a special talent…” Anna Slemmer (Roseburg, Oregon)

“I read Dead Owls Flying today…just as I did A Hawk in the Sun , I was compelled to read the entire book without slumber. The cover design and photos, both front and back and the color scheme is absolutely beautiful. Really as nice of a book cover as I have ever seen…one of my favorite covers and I am an avid collector of paperback and have several thousand in my passion (but only a few are authographed and even fewer inscribed to me)…truly an exquisite cover.

The book was very interesting and again quite approachable for the non-biologist, even more so I think than A Hawk in the Sun. Again there is much that can be learned about the way biological field research is done and the behavior of the Great Gray Owl as well as other raptors from reading this book. Also I think it adequately depicts the difficulty of doing such reseatch when time and money is truly limited and also depicts how important dedication and the simple love for one’s research is in bringing such research to fruition.?” Daniel G. Snethen (Kyle, South Dakota)

“Thanks for being a warm-hearted scholar and ‘sharer-of-wisdom and knowledge’. I’m enjoying the read – Dead Owls Flying will be on my list of must-read books for persons in love with God’s creation.” Jerry Hull (Nampa, Idaho)