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Timeline: Part 3

Page history last edited by Latrippi 12 years, 6 months ago

Events in the Ongoing Story of Molly, McGee, & the Owlets

Note: This Timeline is in reverse chronological order, with most recent events at the top.


 < [ Next: Timeline: Part 4 ]


Fledge Night!


May 15/16. Sat night. Hunting stats: Treats 9. 9:00p McGee, rodent; 9:23p Molly, rat; 10:37p MGee, rat; 12:09a McGee, rodent; 2:50a Molly, mouse; 3:00a McGee, rabbit; 3:38a Molly, gopher; 5:08a McGee mouse; 5:11a Molly, mouse.

  • Max took his first steps out of the Owl Box on Saturday night at 12:23am!
  • He placed his talon on the door sill, scooted and teetered across the 'porch', grabbed onto the perch and, flapping his wings, got his balance. He then settled down to sit on the perch for several minutes, looking around, and clambered back inside.
  • Max came back out onto the perch again at 1:21am -- a little more nimbly this time -- and again went back inside.
  • Many missed it and many others were there to watch!
  • Merritt woke early and smelled the coffee that Lucky had brought into the chat room, celebrated Max's stepping out with everyone, then collected links to the YouTube videos of the two outings, and passed them forward to the benefit of all!
  • Carlos came on about 7 AM PDT to confirm that both outings had been made by Max -- and to say that he himself had gone to bed early and missed the big event! He also said he'd be editing snippets of the 2 outings later in the day.
  • Videos
    •  CarlosRoyal's videohttp://www.ustream.tv/recorded/6960929 
      • First step out 

        Scroll forward to 01:34:00 (12:23 AM) to see Max take his very first step! 

      • Second step out

        Scroll forward to 02:39 (1:21 AM) for Max's second trip outside the box.

    •  YouTube clips:
  • Fledge Collage by James Hill with screen captures by Kathryn R:


  • PDF of the SPO chat stream collective gasp, watching the first trips out:


  • SPO Chat Stream at the exact moment Max took his first steps out:


  • Photos by Carlos:


The Ledge of Night

May 8 - 15


Overview: The owlets are growing up fast and seem about ready to begin the process of fledging and 'branching'. But none have stepped out of the owl box yet! At night, the owlets crowd the door, leaning out over the ledge, for food deliveries. M&M mostly fling "treats" (prey) into the box and rarely enter anymore. During the day, the owlets spend a lot of time grooming as their wing and tail feathers are coming in. They're also stretching and flapping their wings, but sleeping more consistently during the day. They are becoming nocturnal. Molly has been roosting outside since April 22. All four owlets are healthy and doing fine!


May 14/15. Fri. night. Treats: 9. 8:20p McGee, rodent; 12:42a McGee, mouse; 1:26a McGee, mouse; 1:57a Molly, rat; 2:26a McGee, rat; 2:35a Molly, rat; 2:51a Molly, mouse; 3:00a McGee, gopher; 4:17a McGee, big rat.

  • Fledge watch continues! The owlets crowded the door but none stepped out.
  • It was a looong wait for the first food delivery again tonight and then a long wait between that delivery the next ones, following a similar pattern to the night before. In the end, though, all four owlets were well fed!
  • Carlos speculates that the late deliveries are to encourage the owlets to come out of the box.
  • For much of the evening, Max and Pattison hovered at the doorway together, pushing past one another, bobbing and craning and peering around outside, on the lookout for Molly and McGee. At times they seemed to about to step out, as if working up the courage. Time and again they'd step to the ledge, even onto the ledge, and then would suddenly pull back and turn away, walking back into he box again.
  • Sometime close to midnight, the owlet leaning out over the porch suddenly horked up a pellet! It happened fast. And there it sits on the porch still!
  • Around midnight, one of the owlets slipped a talon over the ledge! But didn't step put.


May 13/14. Thu night. Treats: 8. 10:27p Molly, rodent; 12:08a Molly, mouse; 12:10a McGee, rat; 12:39a Molly, gopher; 1:20a McGee, mouse; 1:47a McGee, mouse; 4:27a McGee rodent; 4:46a McGee, rabbit. 

  • Fledge Watch continues! No one stepped out of the box tonight, although they kept us watching and wondering.
  • Early in the evening, Max stretched his wing out through the doorway -- and for a moment could not get it back in! 
  • Tonight’s excitement really centered around food. As for the owlets, they seemed calmer than usual as they waited.
  • M&M were unusually late with the first delivery, breaking the previous record of 9:45 PDT for a first delivery, set on April 30th. And, when food arrived, it was brought by Molly, not McGee, who typically makes the first delivery.
  • There was a long wait for the next deliveries, too. It was a new moon, so the night was dark. It was also quiet. In the moderated chat room, Carlos commented that not even dogs were barking. But at about 11:30 PM PDT, coyotes could be heard yipping in the distance, lending an eerie chill to the wait for McGee.
  • After midnight, Molly returned and minutes, later, McGee! Eventually, they brought in plenty to eat.
  • All are well fed and will live to fledge another day.  


May 12/13. Wed night. Treats: 10. 8:38p Molly, gopher; 9:04p McGee, mouse; 9:39p McGee, rodent; 10:57p McGee, rodent; 1:30a McGee, rodent; 1:55a McGee, big rodent; 2:00a Molly, mouse; 2:32a McGee, gopher; 2:59a McGee, rodent; 5:04a McGee, rodent.

  • After a fun day of play hopping in the owl box, scratching at the floor, and stretching out their beautiful wings, the owlets all showed signs of getting ready to fledge, especially Max and Pat.
  • Owlosaurus theorized that they would begin to fledge closer to dawn, after letting the food in their bellies settle from all the eating they do when the night begins.
  • But, no one stepped out at any time last night.
  • Max did step up on the lip of the threshold of the door!

    Not just standing behind it, or lifting one leg up, but actually standing on the upraised threshold! Pattison, too, got as close to the edge as he could, and both he and Max stuck their heads out the door very often.


May 11/12. Tues night. Treats: 12. 8:29p McGee, rodent; 9:05p McGee, mouse; 9:50p Molly, mouse; 11:03p Molly, gopher; 11:12p Molly, rodent; 1:20a Molly, rodent; 1:25a McGee, mouse; 2:02a McGee, rat; 2:39a Molly, mouse; 2:56a McGee, gopher; 3:43a Molly, gopher; 3:50a McGee, rodent.

  • Carlos called a "Max Fledge Watch" for 8 PM. At dusk, as it grew Oz dark in the sky, Max approached the doorway and hovered there, leaning out, looking up, looking down, craning and bobbing his head, looking for all the world as if he might just step out. And then he turned back! 
  • Max kept Molly watchers captivated throughout the night. Standing in the doorway, staring out, he often lifted a leg as if he was going to step out, but he never put more than his head out the door. So fledge watch for Max continues!
  • As for deliveries, treats were again either thrust into the box or handed off beak to beak from the doorway.


May 10/11. Mon night. Treats: 15. 8:18p Molly, gopher; 8:34p McGee, rodent; 9:17p McGee, rodent; 10:42p Molly, mouse; 11:20p Molly, rat; 11:22p McGee, rodent; 12:08a Molly, rodent; 1:27a McGee, rodent; 2:16a Molly, live rat; 2:23a McGee, mouse; 2:51a Molly, mouse; 3:03a McGee, gopher; 3:12a Molly, rodent; 3:42a Molly, live rodent; 5:10a McGee, rodent.

  • In the early hours of the morning, Max gave everyone a stir when he came out toward the ledge. He raised his foot up like Captain Morgain and appeared to rest it on the threshhold of the doorway -- but didn't step out. According to other viewers, he picked his leg up, shook it and then tapped the ledge a few times. Anyway, throughout the Republic of Molly, eople gasped!
  • Fledge watch lives on for another night to come.
  • All four owlets were well fed tonight.  Another near record for food deliveries.


May 9/10 Sun nIght. Treats: 8. 8:24p McGee, rat; 8:55p McGee, rat; 9:47p Molly, mouse; 11:36p Molly, rodent; 12:14a McGee, big rodent; 3:37a McGee, gopher; 3:50a Molly, mouse; 4:50a McGee, rodent.

  • On one of his later deliveries, McGee sat on the ledge dangling a rodent, but the owlets ignored him! Finally, he thrust it into the box and flew away.  
  • The owlets weren't crowding the doorway as much as usual, but seemed to be holding back. Or maybe they were just full!
  • It was a little harder to see in the owl box doorway at night, after Carlos fixed the camera on the new close up exterior view of the box and left it at a slightly different angle than Sat night.
  • Mother's Day was celebrated in the chat stream by much discussion of food and cooking. 
  • On Sunday afternoon, Carlos added a perch above the new camera to give Molly a place to land without knocking the camera out of position, as she had done the night before. She found and enjoyed the new perch early on in the course of the night.
  • Carlos added music to the commercials for the Molly e-book and recipe book (that may have started a few days ago, actually) and Vacadude put in an appearance or two over the course of the evening, impersonating a carrot.  


May 8/9. Sat night. Treats: 15. 9:01p McGee, mouse; 9:14p McGee, rodent; 9:20p McGee, gopher; 9:55p Molly, gopher; 9:59p McGee, rodent; 10:37p Molly, mouse; 11:14p McGee, rabbit; 11:30p Molly, mouse; 12:14a McGee, mouse; 12:37a McGee, mouse; 1:07a McGee, mouse; 2:01a McGee, mouse; 2:03a Molly, mouse; 3:03a Molly, mouse; 3:20a McGee, gopher.

  • Hippopotamus was posted briefly for a treat, followed by pizza and aardvark
  • Molly sat on the camera and tilted it to the side, resulting in a spooky Vertigo-esque view of the Owl Box  entry and the 'fledge ledge' through the rest of the night
  • Molly watchers were mesmerized by close up views of the owlets at the doorway and the coming and going of the Molly and McGee.
  • As dusk darkened into night, we were treated to an extraordinary close up view of Max 'ledging' -- stepping up onto the lip of the Owl Box doorway, as can be seen in this video clip that Carlos (ever the showman) has somewhat misleadingly labeled, First steps out (starts at 2 mins 45 secs in).
  • In the afternoon, Carlos changed the camera position on Owl Box 2 to a close up, straight on view of the Owl Box door and perch. In his evening 'talk show' appearance, he explained that, since it was an infrared camera, he wasn't sure whether the new view would work or not, and that, if it didn't, he wouldn't adjust it again till the next day.
  • In the chat stream, a firestorm of vivid, and in one case even animated, avatars spilled across the page!


May 7/8. Fri night. Treats: 11. 8:21p McGee, mouse; 8:27p McGee, mouse; 9:45p Molly, rodent; 10:01p Molly, gopher; 10:06p McGee, gopher; 11:39p McGee, rodent; 12:12a Molly on fledge ledge for 5 mins, no treat; 1:03a McGee, mouse; 1:34a Molly, mouse; 2:03a McGee, rodent; 3:08a Molly on fledge ledge for 5 min, no treat; 3:25a McGee, rodent; 4:52a McGee, mouse.

  • The owlets are becoming nocturnal, sleeping more consistently during the day and awake more-or-less all night
  • Because of the heat, the owlets are often seen panting -- called gular fluttering
  • Carlos added the "fledge ledge" -- a T-bar perch below the owl box door, which can be seen in the screengrab on the right, and in this photo, simulating various levels of tree branches the owlets would have available  for fledging in the wild. Now they'll be better able to hop back up into the box!
  • In the afternoon, the owlets kicked the unhatched egg around and gave it a good cleaning, similar to how they get the gunk out from between their toes. Even though they knocked the egg around quite a bit, it did not break, and contrary to rumor, no one tried to eat it.
  • Treats were again either thrust into the box or handed off beak to beak from the doorway.
  • And once again, an owlet could be seen in the doorway eating a gopher whole.
  • Molly landed on the new perch, giving it her official approval. 
  • In the chat stream, a few regulars changed to new, more colorful avatars

ScreenGrab by James Hill: "Molly on the 'fledge ledge'"


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