Owls of the Eastern Ice

  • Winner, PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, 2021
  • Winner, Minnesota Book Award (general nonfiction), 2021
  • National Book Award for Nonfiction longlist, 2020
  • New York Times Notable Book, 2020
  • Wall Street Journal 10 Best Books of 2020
  • Smithsonian Magazine Best Science Books 2020
  • The Times of London Nature Book of the Year 2021
  • Stanford Dolman Travel Writing Award finalist, 2021

Read: Praise for Owls of the Eastern Ice

In Owls of the Eastern Ice, American researcher and conservationist Slaght takes us to the Primoriye region of Eastern Russia, where we join a small team for late-night monitoring missions, on mad dashes across thawing rivers, drink vodka with mystics, hermits, and scientists, and listen to fireside tales of Amur tigers. Most captivating of all are the fish owls themselves: careful hunters, devoted parents, singers of eerie duets, and irrepressible survivors in a harsh and shrinking habitat.

A rare glimpse into the everyday life of a scientist and the subjects of his deep fascination, Owls of the Eastern Ice is a testament to the determination, creativity, and resolve required by field research and a powerful reminder of the beauty, strength, and vulnerability of the natural world.

From the very first pages, Slaght…grips readers with vivid language and tight storytelling. The cast of characters he brings to life—both human and avian—illuminates the delicate symbiosis of the natural world and sheds a welcome light on the remarkable creatures that are too little known. Top-notch nature writing in service of a magnificent, vulnerable creature.Kirkus starred review

Available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (USA), and Penguin (UK and Australia). Audiobook read by the author also available

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Hear a duetting pair of Blakiston’s fish owls!
Young fish owl, by a river, begging parents for food
Fish owl courtship