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Page history last edited by Chris 11 years, 9 months ago


Events in the Storybook Story of the First Clutch of Molly, McGee, & the Four Owlets (Max, Pattison. Austin & Wesley)


Note: This Timeline is in reverse chronological order, with most recent events at the top. For running chat stream commentary of the (almost) entire saga (!) (starting April 23), see Chat Steam PDF's!


Chat Stream after Wesley, the youngest owlet from the first clutch, followed her brother Austin to the Palms, pre-dawn Sat morning June 12, 2010:



Final First Clutch webcasts? See the Interviews page for links to videos of Carlos & Donna's thank you and goodbye webcasts


Screen Shot of Molly & Owlets (First Clutch) by Susan Lawyer

First Clutch Avataria by Kathleen Russell

























Note: This Timeline is in reverse chronological order, with most recent events at the top. For running chat stream commentary of the (almost) entire saga (!) (starting April 23), see Chat Steam PDF's!


Overview (6/14): Molly & McGee returned to the Owl Box last night and seem to be cooking up another clutch! (6/12):All four owlets, first Max, followed by Pattison, then Austin, and at long last Wesley, have finally and fully fledged! They are roosting outside the Box in the neighbor's palm tree! Max and Pattison left May 31 and June 1, respectively, and Austin on June 8, after which Wesley spent several days alone inside the Owl Box. In the evenings, the older owlets often came by to collect the younger ones and, in the wee hours, all four owlets could be found, at various times, in various groupings, hanging out around the Playground. Molly and McGee continued making food deliveries, but less and less frequently and mostly outside, off camera. On Fri morning, June 11, to everyone's surprise, Austin spent the day inside with Wesley. And then on Sat, June 12, after a night coming and going, and a pre-dawn visit to the Owl Box roof, both took off for the Palms! Meanwhile, among the MODs, cards have been signed, picnics held, FB groups ignited, and good bye poems posted, as MODs prepared for the day the owlets finally flew away. What an inspiring ride it's been!


Dark, Bright Cycles of Life


June 14/15. Mon night.

The Last Stats: The owls and owlets did not return to the Palms the morning after the cameras were turned off.


June 13/14. Sun night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 0.

Branching Stats: Molly and McGee are "reverse-branching." McGee returned to the box at 9:37p and Molly returned at 10:02p. At 10:07p an owlet showed up and was chased away by Molly. At 10:16 other owlets showed up and were also chased away. During the night, Molly and McGee were observed bonding or mating or both. When Molly left the box to sit on the fledge ledge, McGee called and called until she returned. McGee flew away at 3:31a. Molly left the box at 4:26a, sat on the fledge ledge for awhile, and flew away at 4:38a.

  •  CarlosRoyal's Videos:
    •  Molly and McGee Back in the Box??? (06/13/10 10 PM; 56:57 mins): Great recording of the mating call by the male inside the box.
    • Owl Duel (06/13/10 11 PM; 25:28 mins): "Looks like we are having a duel for the lady"
    • Night of selection (06/13/10 12 midnight; 23:40 mins): "Looks like we are having a duel for the lady"
    • The Owl Box (06/14/10 02:58AM; 180:12 mins)


The Final Fledge


June 12/13. Sat night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 3 carry ins. One of these was a rabbit, which Wesley consumed in the box, so she or he will roost well fed today.

Branching Stats: All were observed flying and playing at the playground during the night. At 5:13a, to the accompaniment of narration by a surprised Carlos, an owlet returned to the roof of the owl box and was joined by another, who had apparently been sitting unobserved on the far side of the box. The first owlet hopped down to the perch and went into the box. At 5:15a, the second owlet flew away to the southeast (location of The Palms) and the first owlet flew to the cantilever perch, then to the roof, and then away to The Palms for the day.

  • It was a sad day in the SPO chat stream as, one after another, MODs arrived to find the Owl Box empty and a "For Rent" Sign posted outside. Many struggled to get to grips with the end of this long and all-consuming owlfair, while others celebrated the graduation of the four owlets. All had finally joined the hunt! But, MODs couldn't help but wonder, where does that leave us?!
  • Mockz, the mockingbird, hung out on the roof of the Owl Box all day, enjoying a new-found authority over the terrain.
  • In his early evening webcast, Carlos announced that the cameras would be turned off on June 14th, with 3 special final webcasts coming up on Sunday and Monday. And then to the delight of the entire SPO MOD chat stream, Carlos finally acknowledged us. He said that he'd been here, to the SPO chat stream wiki, and that there was a lot of wonderful stuff here.And the crowd went wild. :)
  • As dusk darkened into night, 2k MODs tuned in to watch an empty Owl Box, in the expectation of owlets arriving at the Playground.  And by about 9 PM, they did! Clattering as they landed, first two came and eventually all 4 were seen cavorting at the Playground, which increasingly is coming to be seen as a Royal Owl Park.
  • At one point, a large rabbit arrived on the roof in the beak of an owlet. Was it Tauntz, MODs in all the chat streams wondered, the rabbit who has bravely nibbled the grass at the base of the Playground day after day?
  • At about 5 AM Carlos came on, and narrated an unexpected sequence of events.
  • JH (in Technicolor Dreamcoat): A slideshow of the activity from last night and this morning:
  • Owlet in the box: http://js-kit.com/blob/oMTDszjwUwdtkNIbrUR2IF.png
  • Carlos' Photos:


June 11/12. Fri night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 3. Times: 10:20p, 2:17a, 3:40a.

Branching Stats: Austin out at 8:26p. Wesley out at 8:27p. After flying, hunting (maybe, in the case of Wesley), and playing at the playground all night, they returned to the roof of the owl box at 5:16a. At 5:17a, Austin flew off to the southeast, and Wesley followed him a few seconds later. The entire family is now officially installed at The Palms.   

  • Austin and Wesley spent the day  in the Owl Box, sleeping and preening themselves and one another. The sweet sound of contented chittering rippled through the Owl Box and the chat stream, too.
  • At 8:38 PM pdt, first Austin, then Wesley exited the Owl Box and quickly took flight.
  • Within half an hour, two owlets had returned to the roof, and watched as someone or something circled.
  • A dramatic mid-air collision, early in the evening, possibly involving prey, took two owlets down to the ground -- or at least, down and out of view -- and the screeching ceased. Several minutes later, one owlet reappeared on the camera platform.
  • At around midnight, Wes and Austin were at the Playground, rasping for food, side by side on the Fledge Ledge (tap dancing?). This had MODs worrying: Why don't they Join the Hunt?
  • ...
  • At about 5:15 AM, an owlet, most likely Wes, landed with a clatter on the roof. Minutes later, another -- Austin? -- appeared there too. Wes was on the far side, back to the camera, Austin right on the roof top, facing towards us. Then Austin flew off and Wesley stepped up to the top. She stood for a moment, turning in the direction that Austin flew -- and then she took off, too, off toward the Palms. They did it! Our owlets finally fledged.
  • A screen shot of that last visit, by homeschoolnc: http://js-kit.com/blob/0FIEEOk1fPdVpde6Gc2nBz.png
  • Carlos came on briefly, and said, "Well! I guess they are gone." He had missed the final visits of Austin and Wesley! At about 6:10, he appeared at the Owl Box, pronounced the day's weather to be dreary, and posted a "For Rent" sign. Later he showed us the empty Owl Box and admonished everyone to cheer up!
  • All was quiet as light around the Owl Box brightened and dawn's pastels deepened into the vibrant hues of day.
  • ms dood fink said: "the box is empty, yet the palm tree is full."
  • Carlos' Photos:


The Long Goodbye: Waiting for Wesley


June 10/11. Thur night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 6. Times: 10:23p, 11:38p, 12:40a, 2:40a, 4:43a, 5:01a. One other treat stolen during handoff, time unrecorded.

Branching Stats: Wesley out at 8:17p, flew directly to The Palms to pick up the family for their evening out. All four played several times at the playground. Wesley back in at 5:03a. Austin in at 5:11, out at 5:12, then Austin in again for the day at 5:20a. Max and Patti hangin’ at The Palms, wonderin' what happened to Austin.

  • It was a windy and misty night, maybe even raining. Wesley swept out of the Owl Box with little warning, catching many MODS off guard who expected this to be her final exit. She was there, then gone! In the UStream chat, mad4molly said, "....and the wind blows lonely through the empty owl box..."
  • It was a long wait, during which time Wes could be heard rasping all the way from the Palms. (Carlos confirmed this.) But the MODs waited, starin' at an empty Owl Box, and at about 10 PM Wesley returned. Eventually, over the course of the night, all 4 owlets showed up at the Playground again. At one point, landing on the roof in the rain, one of the owlets slipped and maybe tumbled, disappearing for a few minutes from view.
  • James Hill: "The parents are still making food deliveries throughout the night.  Some of the owlets are probably hunting on their own, but not all are up to snuff yet with their technique.  A couple of them have been practicing their Pounce and Attack movements on the platform, right in front of the camera, much to my delight."
  • Before dawn, there was a regular owlet rumble at Owl Box, with late food deliveries and fast comings and goings, crash landings and collisions. James Hill captured it all: a screen-shot play-by-play of the early morning action:
  • Carlos came on early and narrated as unlikely events unfolded. There was a handoff to Wes on the landing pad, another owlet arrived, then two more. She took the treat inside the box, where Austin joined her, then came back out, then went back in. As the morning light grew bright, he peered out the Owl Box door as if wanting to fly but in the end, he stayed.Donna, getting up and making tea in the background as Carlos talked, did not seem quite as pleased as the MODs at this unexpected turn of events. 
  • Carlos Photos:
  • carlosroyal's video archives:
    • two in the box : Early morning activity: Carlos talking, then a hand off followed by a take away.


June 9/10. Wed night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 8. Possibly two more deliveries after the camera was tilted at 4:11a.

Branching Stats: Wesley out at 8:28p. Returned at 5:15a. Carlos saw all six owls flying in the night.


June 8/9. Tues night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed:  9. Deliveries at 8:59p, 9:44p, 9:49p, 10:11p, 11:55p, 12:54a, 3:14a, 3:43a.

Branching Stats: Wesley out at 8:34p. Flew to The Palms at 5:05a but decided not to get a mani-pedi today and returned to the Owl Box at 5:14a. Max, Patti, and Austin are enjoying all the amenities of The Palms.

  • Wesley spent the day in the Owl Box by herself.

  • Carlos spotted Tauntz the rabbit hopping around the bottom of the Owl Box. 

  • As MODs waited, poems and farewells were composed and posted, w/too many likes to count or keep up!
  • 8:19 a distant fly by in the background of OB2 and deep inside the OB, Wes stirs. Sounds of thumping, stretching, clattering - what is she doing in there?!
  • 8:24 Wes coming toward the door -- visible in OB2 but not OB1. waiting for Austin?
  • 8:27 preening
  • 8:35 Without a sound, not a single screech or squawk, without Austin or Max or Patti coming by, Wesley came to the doorway, peered around briefly, then stepped out and fluttered down to the fledge ledge She sat a moment, stretched, one leg extended in a owlet yoga pose and wing unfurled, then turned, leaped to the platform, and flew off -- gone! Not a screech or a rasp. Just, gone.
  • Wesley's exit: by James Hill
  • Then about 9 PM, she returned! Much squawking and screeching, from Wes and also from the chat stream!
  • McGee dropped by with a teeny tiny mouse. Wes nabbed it, took it into the Box, and downed it.
  • Another owlet came by and the two hung out together on the Playground, cuddling and chittering. Carlos felt pretty certain that it was Max with Wesley because of rufous color of both.
  • And then, a little after 10 PM, a rat arrived -- and was carted off by Maxine, to the kestrel box.
  • 10:50 PM, a handoff of food to the Wes o the fledge ledge who again took it into the Box!
  • Carlos commented that all 4 owlets had been seen tonight, flying around the yards, thei neighborhood landing on the RV, and that the owlets have begun tapping on the wood with their talons. Tap dancing!
  • At 5:05 Wesley flew to the Palms, but returned by 5:14 to the Playground and went back into the Owl Box.Suddenly, Austin landed on the roof and Wes had one of her signature screech-fits.  Then she poked her head out the doorway a couple of times, the way that Austin did the day before he fledged. But she decided in the end to stay put in the Owl Box, where she is practicing sleeping standing up.
  • Carlos' Photos:


The Box, the Playground and the Palms


June 7/8. Mon night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 5. 9:30p McGee, large rat to Wesley; 10:50p Whooo, whaat; 1:53a Whooo, mouse; 3:40a Max (?), mouse; 4:07 Whooo, rat.

Branching Stats: Wesley out first at 8:33p. Austin out second at 8:34. All four owlets together on the playground, 2:15-2:24a, 3:11-3:45a, and 4:34a for a few minutes. Wesley returned to the box at 5:15a. Max and Patti are introducing Austin to the delights of The Palms today. 

  • All was quiet inside the Owl Box as, outside, night turned the sky to technicolor in the night cam. Hardly a squawk or screech was heard, but there was plenty if thumping and clacking and scratching. Maybe they were packing?
  • Finally, without waiting for their siblings to swing by, an owlet stepped to the doorway and flew right out to the Fledge Ledge, then the platform, and then away, toward the Happy Hunting Grounds. The second owlet then peered out, leaned out, set a talon on the porch -- and flew straight out of sight! No hesitation.
  • Again, MODs asked themselves, and each other: Is this it? Is tonight the night? But soon screamin' Wesley had returned.
  • At 9:19, 3 owlets were back, then 1 took off and returned again. Wesley stayed on the perch, skipped to the Fledge Ledge, screeching, and waited there till finally someone -- McGee? -- arrived with a delivery. Wes darted to the landing pad to receive the treat and McGee flew off, just as Austin arrived. He and Wes shared the landing pad, but not the treat! One keen, long-time observer, JT, observed that Austin has often "waited for Wes to eat, even battling off Pattison to ensure Wesley gets enough to eat."
  • Carlos came on quite late, about 10:30 PM, to note that the Owl Box was empty and suggest that Wes had decided to just move in! He went so far as to say that she pretended to slip on the Fledge Ledge feigning weakness, but that she can fly with the best of the them and is Ready for the Hunt! He went on to confirm that Max and Wes are clearly female, Austin male, but Patti? Pattison it seems still has him guessing.
  • A little before 11, Wes's screeches amped up and she took off into the Owl Box, as another owlet arrived and then a parent with a treat. The hand off went to the owlet on the landing pad and Wes came slinking back out, to resume her screeching -- music to a MODs ears!
  • Sketchy notes to  be 'fledged out' into sentences this evening: maybe :)
    • Throughout the night, the owlets came and went.
    • 4:55 Wesley returns to the roof
    • 4:59, Wes to the landing pad, then Austin arrives to platform -- then takes off
    • 5:06 owlbedarn:'the playground is rockin'
    • 5:05-6, from fledge ledge, to platform to landing pad -- gone
    • 5:15 Owlet on the roof, now the platform .. and into the box! JH: "You left out the little hop to the perch before diving through the door."
    • 5:17 Wesley pecked the inside camera, peeked out and disappeared inside for the day.
    • 6:10 Carlos came on to give the morning weather report for San Marcos -- turning cooler, overcast. "Oh, by the way," he then said, "did you notice? only Wesley returned to the Box this morning." Hahaha! No, we didn't notice! :)
  • Carlos' Photos:


June 6/7. Sun night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 6. 10:50p McGee, whaat to Wesley; 11:45p Whooo, rat; 3:20a owlet, rodent; 3:23 Whooo, rodent; 3:54a Whooo, gigantorat; 4:55a Austin, rat to Wesley on the playground.

Branching Stats: First owlet out at 8:38p. Second out at 8:40p. Austin in at 5:12a. Wesley and her treat in at 5:13a. Then Austin out again at 5:18 and finally back in for the day at 5:24a. Max and Patti chillin’ at The Palms.

  • As the sun came up on the Owl Box, Austin and Wesley slept and preened, magnificent in sleek and shining feathers. Austin held his wings out in a 'royal flasher' type of stance, amusing the MODs while doubtless simply trying to stay cool.
  • Carlos held a live interview with Chris and Eric, where Eric announced that a hardcover version of Molly the Owl will be produced! For more, see Molly the Owl Book
  • Evening came quietly, with a single strand of spider web drifting in and out of view on OB2. An owlet bobbled his head at the doorway, peeking out, and pecked at the wall. A sibling landed on the roof (8:34), stood watch, alertly, then flew off again. Minutes later, Austin flew the coop, followed by Weley minutes later.
  • MODs wondered: Is tonight the night?  Within half an hour, an owlet landed on the roof -- and then took off again! Poems were composed to the empty Owl Box.
  • But not so fast! A little before 10 PM, two flew in with a treat. And it seemed that "sharing" was now a thing of the past. A little after 11 PM, 3 were back on the roof and soon all 4 had arrived!They came and went from the Playground all night. 
  • As dawn approached, Austin returned to the box, followed a minute or so later by Wesley, carrying the remains of the treat that Austin had brought to her earlier. As the entire world of awake Mollywatchers gasped and held their breath, Wesley then flew out to the fledge ledge and sat looking back and forth from the great beyond to the cozy owl box, obviously torn between his bond with Wesley and his desire to fly away (or maybe just between the life he has always known and the life he is getting to know). Several people saw a flash of wings from the playground and wondered if Molly or one of his clutchmates were beckoning him out. At 5:24, he turned and hopped back inside. Five minutes later, he stuck his head out of the box and set one foot on the threshold, looking ready to fly away. Two minutes later, he had his head farther out and two feet over the threshold. But at 5:31 he turned and went back inside. For the next few minutes, he returned again and again to the door, each time staying farther and farther inside. At 8:35 he returned to the interior and only peeped out as usual.
  • Carlos Royal's Video:


June 5/6. Sat night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 6. 10:00p McGee, mouse; 11:09 McGee, mouse; 11:45p Molly, gopher; 12:06a McGee, gopher; 12:56a Whooo, whaaat; sixth delivery observed but not documented.

Branching Stats: First owlet out at 8:41p. Second out at 8:42p. All four spent a lot of time together at the playground in the predawn hours. Wesley and Austin both in by 5:08a. Max and Patti enjoying the delights of The Palms.

  • At 8:40, a distant fly by was seen in OB2 behind the Owl Box, arcing from left to right. A minute later, Austin appeared in the doorway, totally alert, peering into the distance above and beyond the camera. In the blink of an eye, he took off, flying toward the camera and out of range. Wesley approached the doorway, peeked out, and then flew to the platform perch and sat there, peering  around and stretching her wings. Minutes later, she flew to the roof of the Owl Box and took off, to the right. Seconds later, another distant fly by flashed across OB2.
  • Soon, Wesley returned by herself to sit on the Fledge Ledge, awaiting dinner, perhaps. Sure enough, at 10 PM, McGee arrived with a mouse -- and Wesley hightailed it straight from the Fledge Ledge into the Owl Box in time to nab it!
  • Moments later, the long, eerie screech of an adult barn owl was heard, once, twice, three times. Another owlet landed on the Fledge Ledge and was eventually joined by Wes.
  • Over the course of the evening, and especially in the pre-dawn hours, all four owlets convened at the Playground to hop and pounce and prance around. Over time, owlets came and went, and then Wes went back inside. It was hard for MODs not to believe the older owlets were trying to persuade Wesley that it's safe to spend the day at the Palms!
  • Finally, Austin went inside with Wesley, came back out, and flew away again. How many would remain at the Owl Box? Would Wesley be left by herself? It began to look that way. But then Austin returned and went into the Owl Box to spend the day inside. Our hero!
  • Carlos Photos:


June 4/5. Fri night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 6. Only 4 delivery times recorded: 10:18p McGee, rodent; 10:22p Molly, rat; 12:49a Whooo, whaaat; 12:54a Molly, mouse handoff to Wesley on the playground.
Branching Stats: First owlet out at 8:51p. Second out at 8:55p. Austin and Wesley both back in by 5:08a. Max and Patti chillin’ at The Palms.

June 3/4. Thur night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 6. 8:45p Whooo, rodent; 9:25p Molly, mouse to Max in palm tree (seen by Carlos); 11:31p McGee, rat to Wesley; 12:14a Molly, mouse; 12:59a Whooo, rat; 4:36a McGee, rat.

Branching Stats: First owlet out at 8:34p. Second out at 8:37. Both back in by 5:15a. Max and Pattison enjoying the day out at The Palms.


June 2/3. Wed night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 9. 8:59p Molly, rabbit to Wesley; 9:32p McGee, mouse; 10:46p Whooo, whaaat; 11:05p Molly, rat; 12:00a McGee, gopher; 12:47a McGee, rat; 1:38a McGee, gopher; 2:03a Whooo, whaaat; 4:24a McGee, rat.

Branching Stats:  First owlet out at 8:36p. Second out at 8:37p. All four owlets played at the playground for extended periods during the night, and all four went on flyabouts. Wesley back in at 5:11a. Austin back in at 5:16a. Max and Pattison roosting outside.

  • In his evening video chat, Carlos reported that he and Donna had watched Max & Pattison fly into the neighbor's palm tree last night. So today, he took awesome photos of them, Max and Pattison, tucked int the palm fronds (link below)! 
  • At 8:32 Max and Pattison showed up on Playground -- first a couple fly bys, then landing on the roof and platform, then flew away, off camera.
  • Within minutes, Austin followed closely by Wesley came to the door and took flight, straight from the Owl Box out of sight!
  • At around 9 PM, a delivery from Molly arrived -- a rabbit -- and so did Austin and Wesley! It all happened fast, but it seems that Wesley got the Wabbit, and he and Austin remained in the box a while. Half an hour later, McGee brought a mouse and soon thereafter, someone, maybe Pattison, landed on the roof and took off again. And that's all this editor got!
  • Carlos' Photos: 


June 1/2. Tue night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 4. 10:12p McGee, mouse to Wesley; 1:08a Molly, rodent handoff; 3:50a owlet with mouse; 5:21a Molly, rat delivered Austin and Wesley in the box.

Branching Stats:  Austin out at 9:00p. Wesley out at 9:01p. Wesley took full flight at 4:28 and 4:57a. Both in by 5:17a. Max and Pattison roosting outside.
  • Carlos was up early in order to catch sight of who went into the Box -- but missed it by just a few minutes. :)
  • Today: Max is 72; Patti is 70 (but came out of the box 1 day early); Austin is 68; Wesley is just 65. So, Carlos said, he wouldn't be surprised if it was another week before Wes moves out.
  • Wesley and Austin spend the day in the Owl Box. MODs admired and adored them and took pleasure in identifying their distinctly different traits.
  • At 7:30 PM Carlos did an interview with author Eric Blehm. If you would buy a hardcover copy of the Molly the Owl book, email Eric and let him know; he needs to know that enough people will buy it to make it worthwhile: eric@ericblehm.com !
  • The appointed hour for the owlets' exit came and went, as MODs watched the Owl Box with 'bated breath and nothing stirred inside. Finally, at about 9 PM PDT, an unknown owl or owlet circled the Playground, twice. A dry flyby! Then Austin, closely followed by Wesley, stepped out of the Box, flew to the fledge ledge and platform and up to the roof -- and flew away! Within minutes, the box and grounds were empty.
  • In the chat stream, goodbyes were exchanged with our dear friend and fearless leader Merritt, who is leaving for vacation today.
  • Over the course of the night, Wesley and Austin came and went, and a mouse delivered to Wes by McGee. Again, just before dawn, all 4 owlets visited the Playground and then Austin and Wesley returned to the Box to spend the day.
  • Carlos' Photos: 


May 31/June 1. Mon night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats observed: 3. 8:42p Molly, small rabbit; 8:52p owlet, mouse; 2:04a McGee, rabbit. (The moderators have apparently reconsidered their decision not to record details of deliveries.) 

Branching Stats:   First owlet out at 8:32. Second out at 8:54. Third out at 8:55. Max already out from his first day roosting in the palm tree with Molly and McGee. Austin and Wesley in at 5:12a. Max and Patti spending the day outside the box.
  • Three owlets remained in the box today. Evening darkened and anticipation among the MODs grew. As the customary time for the owlets' departure from the Owl Box arrived, no sign of activity in the Owl Box could be seen or heard. Inside, no owlets stirred.
  • Suddenly, in the new wide angle OB2, an owlet circled, twice, fast, then landed on the platform (far  right).  An owlet came to the Owl Box door, looked out, took off and flew away. Max had come by to pick up Patti!
  • Molly (or McGee) arrived soon after with a rabbit and handed it off to someone, possibly Patti.  There was a tease on the roof with a treat in which an owl or owlet landed and took right off again. Austin left and came back to visit Wes, then left again. Eventually, Wesley came out, went up to the roof and back to the platform and took off to the west, with panache. Several minutes passed. He came back and went in the box.
  • Wes did several small flyabouts over the course of the evening, but spent most of the night alone on the home range. The older owlets were less in evidence tonight than on earlier evenings. For long, long stretches, Wes was alone. Meanwhile, 1500 - 2000 viewers looked on!
  • As of 4:48 AM PDT, Wes was alone. One watcher observed (George): "Our lone sentinel." Then, "Wow." 
  • At about 5 AM, 2 owlets returned and joined Wes outside the Owl Box, up on the roof. Then, one flew off. Two entered the Owl Box and debate ensued. 



May 30/31. Sun night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats: 5.

Branching Stats: First owlet out at 8:24p. Second out at 8:24p. Third out at 8:28p. Fourth out at 10:45p. Three in by 5:21a. It’s official: Max has left the building. But he’s roosting close by in the palm tree with Max and Molly.

Summary: Max is roosting outside the Owl Box today, in a tree nearby. S/he was on seen in the Royal Owl Playground hanging out with the others just before dawn. At dusk, the 3 oldest owlets left the box as usual, but Wesley was slow to leave, not stepping out till 10:45 PM PDT. Eventually, Wes came out, jumped about and took off from the roof, flying to the right with the others. S/he was gone 15-20 minutes before returning and re-entering the box. A new wide angle night camera gave intermittent views of the entire Playground setting. Even with the new camera, food delivery details and owlet comings and goings have become hard to track! Moderators in the UStream chat room have thrown up their hands and are no longer keeping detailed stats.

  • Carlos and Donna showed off the wonderful gifts they received at the picnic yesterday, holding them up to the camera one at a time and marveling over the creativity of the Molly-watch community. They were glowing and laughing and joking and looked as if they couldn't have been more pleased.
  • Carlos set up a new night wide angle camera for OB2. Although the camera went offline a couple times, it gave a great new perspective on activity in the Royal Owl Playground.
  • At 8:24, Max & Patti came out, one after the other, from perch to fledge ledge, and, after a brief stretch, flew off to the right, toward the Happy Hunting Grounds.
  • At 8:28, Austin stepped out and hopped down to the fledge ledge. He waited a bit, looked back at Wes in the Owl Box doorway as if to say, "You coming, Wes?," and then he flew off, too.
  • At 8:38, two owlets (Max & Patti?)  returned to the roof with a clatter and took off again. Inside the Owl Box, Wes was quiet, sitting deep inside instead of near the door.
  • A long wait followed for Wesley to come out, with MODs trading worries and reassurances. Austin returned, entered the box briefly, and left again. McGee brought a mouse and passed it off to an owlet on the perch (presumed to be Patti), who took it inside in the Owl Box.
  • Finally, with two owlets inside the box, Molly dropped off Sumpin Big and minutes later one owlet flew out of the Box. Wes then came to the door and stepped out, at 10:45 PM, flew down to the fledge ledge, and in one fluttering leap up to the roof. After bobbing and craning at the night sky for several minutes, s/he took off, at 10:52 PM PDT, flying toward the Happy Hunting Ground (to the right). S/he returned with other 3 owlets minutes later, then all took off again and returned at about 11:15.
  • Several times during the night, owlets disappeared on the far side of the Owl Box roof, then reappeared, scrambling and fluttering, talons clattering on the roof.
  • At about 4:30 AM PDT, all 4 owlets could be seen in the wide angle camera in the Playground area, waiting for dawn, then disappeared for a last fly around. Wes didn't stay out long. Only 3 owlets returned!
  • Carlos has seen Max, several times, fly off to the west toward the Queen Anne Palms, and back again to the Owl Box. So, some speculate that Max may be roosting there, or perhaps in the neighbor's palm tree with her parents. Generally, after leaving the nest, owlets will continue to hunt with their parents for another couple weeks.
  • Photos by Carlos: 

Screen Grabs (above & right):
Max Steps Out for the Last time, Pattison Just Behind (5/30) by Latrippi (click for full size).
All Four Owlets Together Just Before Dawn (5/31) by Cheryl Owen. 

Owldolescent Escapades!


May 29/30. Sat night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats confirmed: 7. Moderators have stopped capturing detailed statistics because so much food is now being caught and consumed off camera.

Branching Stats: May 29/30. First out at 8:21p. Second out at 8:22p. Third out at 8:22p. Fourth out at 8:24p. Last in at 5:07a.

  • In the afternoon, there was a picnic for MODS in San Marcos. See the Media Listings on the More About Molly page for links to news coverage! The virtual picnic on the SPO chat stream was festive with cheer and virtually yummy food! It was a celebratory afternoon.
  • At the Owl Box neighborhood, food deliveries came late!
  • The 4 owlets made their regular evening exit, then Wes returned inside the Owl Box. The 3 oldest owlets came and went all night, often hanging out in the Royal Playground, apparently waiting for food.
  • Carlos reported (on Sunday afternoon) that he and Donna had watched M&M flying 'round the Owl Box early Sat evening, circling, calling the owlets out to the Happy Hunting Grounds -- to the right of the Owl Box in our view -- where Molly takes them hunting. Max & Pattison have both been seen returning from there carrying small rodents, although they haven't been sighted actually catching prey.
  • Around midnight, the youngest owlet, Wesley, on his second trip outside for the evening, went on (what we think was) his first flyabout! It was brief but definitely about...! Returning after a short time, maybe about 5 minutes, he landed on the roof, arriving from the right side, not from the perch or fledge ledge. Wes remained on the roof for half an hour or so, swaying on one foot, the other loosely tucked beneath him.
  • All 4 owlets returned into the Box at dawn.


May 28/29. Fri night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats: 12. 8:42p, owlet, rodent; 9:19p McGee, mouse; 9:47p Molly, rat; 11:28p McGee, rodent; 12:17a Molly, rat; 12:55a McGee, rodent; 1:25a Molly, rodent; 1:28a McGee, rodent; 1:55a Molly, rat; 4:46a Whooo, rodent; 5:08a owlet, rat; 5:13 owlet, rabbit.
Branching Stats:
First out at 8:21p. Second out at 8:23p. Third out at 8:26p. Fourth out at 8:27p. All in by 5:18a.

  • Tomorrow, Max will be 10 weeks old. At 12 weeks, they're no longer called owlets!
  • Up early, Carlos mentioned that he'd received an email from US Fish & Game commending him on getting people interested in owls and teaching about environmental issues and the cycle of life.
  • The owlets stepped out in order as darkness was gathering.
  • While other owlets were flying about, Wes came out and traveled from the fledge ledge to the landing pad, to the perch and the porch and back again, before returning back into the Box to wait for food! At one point, during the wee hours, he landed on the camera and adjusted the angle upwards, to track the moon.
  • Carlos described watching the owlets flying around nearby, circling. They seem to prefer structures over the trees: landing on the roof, the RV garage, the fence -- but not to any trees. They have climbed up the ladder one step and a time, flapping their wings. The 2 oldest, Max and Patti, have returned with prey but Carlos and Donna haven't seen them actually catch any.
  • Carlos noted that -- guess what? Wesley is now as big as the others!


May 27/28. Thurs night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats: 9. 8:36p McGee, mouse; 8:37p owlet, gopher; 10:12p McGee, rabbit; 10:12p owlet, mouse; 11:17p McGee, gopher; 12:35a McGee, mouse; 2:40a Whooo, rat; 3:22a Whooo, rabbit (?); 3:37a Molly, rat.

Branching Stats: First out at 8:12p. Second out at 8:13p. Third out at 8:15p. Fourth out at 8:15p. All in by 5:15a.


May 26/27. Wed night.  

Hunting Stats: Total treats: 9. 8:52p McGee, rat; 9:21p McGee, mouse; 10:17p Whooo, rat; 10:45p Pattison! rabbit; 2:23a McGee, rat; 3:27a Whooo, mouse; 3:52a Molly, mouse; 4:00a Molly, rat; 4:26a Molly, gopher.

Branching Stats: First out at 8:23p. Second out at 8:23p. Third out at 8:24p. Fourth out at 8:25p. All in by 5:15a.


May25/26. Tues night.

Hunting Stats: Total treats: 9. 8:21p Molly, mouse; 8:37p Molly, mouse; 8:43p Owlet Whooo, mouse; 10:36p Molly, rat; 2:55a Whooo, rodent; 3:27a McGee, mouse; 3:46a McGee, rat; 3:56a Molly, mouse; 4:38a Whooo, gopher.

Branching Stats: Total treats: First out at 8:20p. Second out at 8:23p. Third out at 8:26p. Fourth (Wesley) out at 8:29p. All in by 5:15a.

  • Merritt's summary: Wesley spent a good part of last night outside with his siblings. While they flew mostly out of camera range, Wes often sat in plain view on the fledge ledge and called into the night. Max, Pattison, and Austin emerged from the box for their usual forays out into the night just as the cobalt blues of dusk faded into black. After a few minutes, Wesley decided to join them. He approached the door, tested the air outside with a talon, then gathered up his courage and bounded from the doorway to the platform where he flapped his wings in triumph. He and the others were in and out of the box after that, and all returned safely home before the break of dawn.


Timeline: Part 4


  1. First Flights


Timeline: Part 3


  1. Fledge Night!
  2. The Ledge of Night


Timeline: Part 2


  1. Drive-by Dinners & Ledging
  2. Molly Moves Out
  3. Molly Returns for the Day
  4. Molly Leaves the Nest


Timeline: Part 1


  1. A Night in the Dark
  2. Then What Happened?!
  3. The Eggs Hatch
  4. The Eggs are Laid
  5. Molly & McGee Move into the Owl Box



Comments (2)

JL Gawlik said

at 9:06 am on May 20, 2010

Laura, your email: Hey, Joanna, I was wondering: Have you been saving the text of photos of your nightly Oz report? I'm regretting that I didn't think to capture them! And I'm not always around. I think it would make a lovely page, just a reverse chronological list of them! What do you think? I thoiught of working into the Timeline but, even better on their own page, maybe. Mollie (editor w/me here) agrees . Whddya think?!

I may have to go back thru the PDFs on some of them, i can not even remember when i started this, towards the end of April, no problem, will have to dig them up, and i will let you know when i do, right now working on a couple of projects. Funny how you start something then continue on ... *G* Just read there are many sociologists watching the chat, boy they are probably everywhere! LOL!
~joanna aka 'JL'

Latrippi said

at 7:39 pm on May 29, 2010

Joanna, I just saw this -- thanks! Yes, it is funny how you can start something on the web without necessarily intending it to become anything in particular and then, next thing you know, you've got an *archive*! Well! No worries. I just thought I"d let you know how much we all enjoy them and that we thought it'd make a lovely page. :)

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