Friday, May 7, 2010

Making changes

WOW! I am so impressed! I think this is really going to happen!

I, too, realize that right now the wildlife agencies are completely overwhelmed with the Gulf disaster. That is so huge that it's hard to even grasp.

But it gives us time to get our act together anyway.

So far, we have collected some websites/links and I wanted to post them:

I also like the idea of reaching out to the National Audubon Society. It probably wouldn't hurt to see if anyone at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology has considered or wants to consider getting involved in getting information out there at the very least.

I, too, am hopeless at facebook.

There are yahoo groups, I hear, that form to discuss certain issues and share information. Maybe someone could set up an owlbox regulation yahoo group? I don't know how to do that. Anyone know how and want to go ahead and set that up?

We CAN change the way barn owls are lured into these deathtraps and turn it into a lovely system where they branch, fledge, and go out into the world with every chance of success! Isn't that what we want for all those we love?

And do we not love these wonderful little souls with all our hearts? yes we do!

It's like when a mother protects her children. We are stewards of the animals and the earth, so we are the ones to be their voice, their advocate, their protector, their steward.

If the mother and father owl are so willing to sit on eggs for ages, hunt their hearts out all night, carefully feed chunks to each little hungry beak, keep the babies warm, and basically pour their entire being into the welfare of these amazing little personalities we've come to know and love, then we can certainly help them see the babies through to a happy ending! When I see how earnest and dedicated the owls THEMSELVES are to the babies, I feel that the least I can do is speak up for them when they're in a helpless situation that's over their head.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am that you are stepping up! You don't have to have "leadership" skills to make a difference! All you have to do is collect the information as to who to contact and how to go about making changes.

From there, I'm happy to be one of the writers of the letters we would send to such organizations, to bring them up to speed on the problem, and to ask for action to be taken to change this situation by putting regulations into place for the long term safety of all barn owls who are lured to nest boxes.

We can make all the difference for thousands of future Max, Pattison, Austin, and Wesleys, bless their soft little pink feet and warm smooth beaks and big black innocent eyes!

Oh how I love them and what joy it would be to help them live free! Thank you SO MUCH, those of you willing to be involved in the effort to see the through into adulthood without the tragic consequences!

Hooray for the citizens who, when they see a heartbreaking need like this one, are willing to educate lawmakers and regulators so that changes can be made! This is what makes America great - our ability to change and learn through the "ordinary" citizens of our country.

I'm so inspired by you all!



wess_liana said...
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wess_liana said...

(I deleted the previous coment because it had a typo... hahaha)

Stacey, I'm excited at the prospect of us being able to make a difference! I will start collecting all of the info on the correctly designed owlboxes so that we can create some educational materials similar to what The Barn Owl Trust has. I'm a graphic designer by trade and am thrilled that I can use my skills for the good of our wild brothers and sisters! I can also take care of any promotional materials we might need. I think we ought to think about raising money to fund an advertising/public education campaign in the areas that are most critically affected (like San Marcos). I'd love to see us have an ad placed next to any ad that is trying to sell these boxes of horror! Wouldn't THAT be a coup!!

We should organize under a name... and maybe even get all the paperwork done to be able to collect donations (I have NO IDEA how to do that - maybe someone else does??) Maybe we could become the American Barn Owl Alliance... hmmmm... dreaming big this morning, I guess. What does everyone else think??

Anonymous said...

I'm involved with a group that uses Yahoogroups extensively and I can figure out how to start a list there. I won't be able to work on it until the weekend. In the meantime, what do we want to call our list? (It is possible to change the name later if we haven't come up with our official name yet.)

Anonymous said...

orsellitThanks so much for encouraging us to act, Stacey! I KNOW we can do this. I've seen what can happen when dedicated people unite to bring about change, and it's wonderful to be a part of that. Count me in. Charlotte & I are SOMEWHAT familiar with Facebook and will see what we can put together there.
In my last post I started to say the person with whom I spoke at the Audubon Chapter Services Offices forwarded my email.. but I never said where it went. She sent it to the California Audubon Society. I just had a look at their web page, and recognized a name of a woman who used to work at Audubon here in Massachusetts. I'll give her a call today & see if she has any ideas.
We still hope to see you in that overflow chat if you're up to it.. I just tried the link I posted here yesterday and it brings you to a page where there's ONLY chat (no video). When you go to post you'll have to log in if you want to be identified as anything but a "Ustream user" The sportmansparadise site is fine for watching video, but it's not the best for chat.
Thanks again for steering all this energy in a positive direction. It could so easily have gone a MUCH less productive way!

Anonymous said...

Charlotte won't be able to post until later, but she wants you to know she's willing to contact the Cornell Labs.

Lulalayne, as a student at Cornell you're in a fantastic position to lend a hand here... I know this has to a crazy busy time for you, end of the semester, but I believe there's a REASON you came here at this point in time! Any way you can help would be great.. even if it's to pass on contact info. Clicking on Charlotte's name in any earlier post she's made will give you her email address.

And Wes_liana, I LOVE your ideas! Thanks for being willing to put together educational materials! Love the NAME you suggested too, only do you think we might want to drop the word "American" off the front? Maybe it's me... does anyone else think it could be confusing?(like there's a different species of Barn Owl here?) I'd be fine with either, really...

wess_liana said...

I just googled "the Barn Owl Alliance" and just wanted y'all to know that it doesn't look like there's an organization by that name out there... :-)

Thom said...

Stacey, I am a regular watcher and frequent poster on the Social Stream side of the "main" Molly site, under the screen name "ThomboyD." Many people know me there (some, undoubtedly, wish they didn't).

I read your blog with great interest, and it gave words to what had only been a gnawing question in the back of my mind.

I have a Facebook Group, called MODs & MADs, and set up a Discussion Tab to talk about your blog posts re Molly and her clutch. I would very much welcome your participation. My only guideline is self-censorship. The stakes are too high for any other kind.

Please feel invited and most welcome to participate.

Anonymous said...

Stacey, is what you post on this blog copyrighted material? Have we your permission to quote entries you've left up here?

Af there's anybody else we need to contact about that, please let us know. Don't want to step on any toes.

Dadu said...

OK, folks. I am Dadu aka Claudia Hanson. I have spent part of the morning gleaning sites so far from yesterday's posts and comments on Stacey's blog. Charlotte and I have contacted each other via e-mail and have begun to organize. I would like to give out my e-mail address but would ask your advice on that. I am good at liaison and organizing, and with this post today more people want on board. So many good suggestions and people. We need that one place. My e-mail can be it for liaison until you smart people decide on what Internet tool you will use to organize. Stacey's blog seems to be the place right now but, I think she needs a place she can just forward everything to which could be me. Or I can glean it from her blog for her. Then I can put it on the Internet tool of choice when that is up and running. Looks like I need to hear back from wess_liana, Allison, maizyb (I know you are Charlotte's sister)as to how to proceed.
Gotta go swim, will check in later on this afternoon.

HeyNicePlanet said...

Hi Stacey and other readers. Here are a few Techie tips - for anyone who would like to watch the owlbox, but would like to skip social/chat/etc., or just go to Ustream's overflow chat. The trick is to open different a browser window for each item. If you do not know how to do this, for most browsers, start your browser - that is window #1. Then hit Ctrl-N (N for New). Now you should have two browser windows open - both with your "home" page loaded. Ctrl-N again - you have a third window. Then load the Ustream video feeds, and if you wish, the chat of your choice:
You can load the URL addresses of the Ustream Pop-outs directly:
Load this into one of your browser windows.

Load this into a second browser window.

If you also want chat,load this into your 3rd browser window:
Regular chat:
Overflow chat:
You can even follow both chats if you wish.

You may like this chat format better - you have more room for more lines of chat. However - you will not be logged on - so send a test message to get the login dialog box.

Then the trick is sizing the 3 (or 4) windows you have so you can see them all at once. for PCs - this site is for Vista - but might help anyone to get the basic idea:
Also R-click in empty area of taskbar to get tile windows commands.

Another nice thing about this set-up is that if one window crashes - the others will keep going - the chat window is the one most likely to crash - the Flash chat uses up memory (RAM) like crazy when busy.

Sorry if this got a bit long...

HeyNicePlanet said...

Also, using multiple window setup above, us Stacy fans could set up our own chat. You do need enough people for a chat to work. Are others interested? Does anyone have a suggestion as to a good chat system to use? I'm not sure Stacey (or Stacey's techie friends) would want to take this on (let me know if I'm wrong Stacey) so its up to us. I was looking into the chat system sportmansparadise uses - a product called Echo, info at But Chat is new to me - there may be pre-existing systems - like instant messaging - that already do the job. I'd be glad to help get it started, if we have enough interest.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who's organizing everything, but I definitely want to be a part of things. I'll keep checking the comments for a contact OR a group to join.
YAY for getting things done!!

Also, I have a couple of questions that I was hoping Stacey could answer.
1) The owlets have all started flapping their wings in the box now. It seems that once one does it, the rest all follow. They are also hopping as well (SOOO CUTE!!!, they look so proud after a hop haha). Little Wesley even joined in on the hopping today, adorable!! Anyways, my question is about the hopping? My assumption is that it is a skill needed for taking off, etc .... but not sure if that is the reason for practicing (don't like to assume anything!).

2) I've also noticed the past 2-3 days the owlets are like scratching & flinging the nest material around. I really wasn't sure what to think about it, until today when I saw that they are grabbing clumps with their talons. Does it help them with learning to grip things?

3) When they spread their wings and you can see the underside of them it looks like only the bottom half has feathers, the top still looks like the shaft (not sure what you call it). So I'm wondering how exactly feathers grow/open/or another term I don't know?

I appreciate all you are doing and sorry this is so long!


PS - I'm going to a wild bird sanctuary & rescue this weekend, they have 4 barn owls and I'm so excited to see see them & the other owls and birds too !!

Anonymous said...

Wow, thinking about the possibilities with this new venture are astounding. This could eventually even become an official 501(c)(3) non profit! But I'm getting ahead of myself. Oh the good we could do! Scratch that - the we WILL do.

I haven't been in any chat rooms lately but I would like to officially offer my help in any capacity necessary. I'm tech savvy and familiar with all forms of social media - facebook, myspace, twitter, etc.

I'm going to throw my e-mail out there in hopes of connecting with others. I can assist in trying to get a mailing list set up too, but if you already have one, add me to it. :)

Also, just wanted to point out that other species of owls use these boxes as well, so when thinking of an organization name I would encourage a name that encompasses all species of owls and not exclusive to Barn Owls. (Even though I love them dearly - I love them all and I know you all do too!)

chipmonk said...
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Susan said...

I am anxiously looking forward to being a part of this as things get established! As I expect many here feel, I want to turn my disappointment in the developments at Molly's site into something positive.

I plan to do something on a (very) local level. Our local nature center sold various types of nesting boxes at one time, so I will check to see if they sell owl boxes and if they are appropriate. (I suspect they are the right kind, since the center is run by educated naturalists, but it shouldn't hurt to politely inquire).

I also want to add that I think Itacri's thoughts on an organization that helps all species of owls is on track. Although we are especially mad for barnies, I would love to know that we could help them all.

Thanks to Stacey and all who are putting their time and energy into this!

Susan from MI

Charlotte said...

Nice to see this passionate owl loving group begin to take shape! I agree that it will likely be better for Stacey's blog if we move ourselves to some other internet social utility that works well. I don't care which one.. facebook, yahoo groups, etc.. Perhaps if there's someone who knows the different options that are out there and can help us know why one would be better than another you can speak up (PLEASE)! I personally lean toward facebook (my sister, "maizyb" was going to start something there) but that's only because I'm more familiar with it than any other. (Stacey, you might LIKE it if you got familiar w/it! Maybe you could practice on the "Wesley the Owl" facebook page that Wendy must have started. There's probably stuff on Wes' facebook page that you've not yet seen!! Also, if you think Wendy has information from being your web guru for some time that might help us decide in one direction or another, I'd be glad to talk with her.

I was thinking also that we need a mission statement of sorts. To quote Wikipedia, a "mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a sense of direction, and guide decision-making. It provides "the framework " For instance, is our goal to have federal laws changed etc.. I put in a call to Nancy Conney about this today, Stacey. What you shared with us about her herculean efforts with local wildlife changes and her many contacts with Federal and state agencies make her a great potential resource in developing that statement.

The last thing I'd like to suggest for right now -if you do want to become involved- is to provide 1) the name you use on this blog (yes, it will be provided if you post at all right now) 2)your real name and 3) your email address (Stacey, you don't need to.. we KNOW where we can find YOU! ;)

2)Charlotte Loomis

Faire said...


Of the options, Facebook is the only one that forces users to have an account: Yahoo Groups and Google Groups do not. I don't want to have to open a Facebook page, so this is a vote for one of -- any of -- the other hosting options.

Thank you.

Faire said...

The Barn Owl Defenders group is now up and running on Yahoo:

I need at least one co-moderator.

Charlotte said...

faire.. you sure about that? I went to get on the yahoo group and couldn't get "in" until I signed up w/ yahoo? So far I'm really loving liana's suggestion for a name.. "Barn Owl Alliance". Let's play around with names and utitlities.. No need to decide immediately, right? Maybe after the weekend's input, after more people have had a chance to think about it/get ON the internet to SEE this great new direction..

Faire said...

Hi Charlotte, I just emailed you. FW

Faire said...

Barn Owl Alliance is probably a better name. But please, just don't put it on Facebook!

alohagecko said...

I have a family member working for the us forestry service in northern ca. she has done stuff like count spotted owls. i will ask for advice.

alohagecko said...

She is actually a much respected biologist who loves her work and may have some helpful info to direct us to.

Anonymous said...

Faire, Facebook is nothing to fear - it's a fantastic utility and frankly, the easiest to navigate for a group once you get your feelers in there (my opinion of course). If you need any help (or anyone for matter) feel free to e-mail me!

Faire said...

Fear has nothing to do with it, but thanks.

chipmonk said...

Faire..ty for the e=mail you just sent.I have signed up on yahoo,and am part of thr team.I must say(my own opion)I don't care at all for FB,been there,done that.I will be happy to do what ever I can to support this endevor.There are people I plan to contact in my area also.I do like the name Barn Owl Defenders,whatever is choosen is fine.

Monica K. said...

Just thought I'd note that Carlos has added a new perch to his setup, and it looks great. I think this one is close enough to being level to the door of the owl box to work for branching. Stacey, I'd love to hear what you think of it.

renard said...

Hi, Stacey... I read about you being banned from the chat rooms at Molly's Owl Box. I was wondering when they'd do that to you. No matter what you told them, if it was contrary to anything Carlos said, they got PO'd. You'd think some of them, at least Carlos and Donna especially, would have sense enough to realize you are trying to help them keep the owlets alive through their branching (A term I only know because of you!) and finally leaving the nest. But they just couldn't accept you for the compassionate woman and barn owl expert that you are!

I, on the other hand, have appreciated everything you've tried to do, and am grateful that you have taken the time to share your expert knowledge to try to educate the Royals so they could fix a bad and potentially deadly situation. Thank you for trying to help these sweet owlets survive!

I don't participate in the chat there. But I do read a lot of it when I'm online. I know that quite a few of the chatters were almost too upset for words that you were banned. But of course the Mods put a stop to their protests immediately.

I just wanted you to know, if you haven't heard already, that you did get through to Carlos on some level! There is now another wooden construction for the owlets to use to get down to the platform and then back up to the nest!!! It might not be the perfect solution, but it sure is another step in the right direction. And it's directly because of your efforts!!! WAY TO GO STACEY!!!!

Tonight the chatters are all so thrilled that the new 'perch' system is there. What a great idea Carlos thought up!! <> just in case it didn't come through correctly. :^) They have named it the "Royal Fledge Ledge". The name made me laugh, but I thought you'd like to know.

Stacey, you have succeeded! The owlets have a much better chance at successfully branching now.

McGee has made 2 deliveries so far tonight 8:30PM PDT. He stopped on the roof the first time, maybe to check out the new ledge. Then went in the way he always does the second time. So I don't think it's going to cause either of the parents any distress.

I hope you get to read this post. I didn't know where to place it.

Thank you again, Stacey, for everything you've done to protect these little sweeties. Sincerely.



Lynn said...

I'm looking forward to helping in any way I can. I'll have time in June when school is out. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that Carlos added a perch. Miracles do happen!

Faire said...

Somebody remarked yesterday that Stacey would probably not be subjected to all those admonitions about "being nice" if she were a man instead of a woman.

There is an interesting article in the current issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education about how young and/or female professors are frequently the targets of disrespect by their students:

One of the commenters (#25) remarked that "The assumption on the part of many male students seems to be that a male prof. is an expert in his field, but a woman is just giving her opinion."

I don't think it's just "male students" making that assumption. In my experience, women are generally less accepting of other women in positions of authority, especially intellectual (as opposed to managerial) authority.

Dadu said...

Wow, great ideas and several want to volunteer. Right now we are using Stacy's blog as a central location for our ideas and contact info. Once it is decided where we will move to, ie Facebook, Yahoo, or Google we can have more discussion there. I think Stacey's blog will continue to receive comments as she is a bit of a celebrity and that is good for attracting attention to our project.

I have set up an e-mail account I did it before I saw itacri's note about other owl species and don't want to take the time to change it now; I reason that the project has begun from watching barn owls. I have started an e-mail list at this address.

We want to organize so that we won't have muliple people calling one place not knowing what each other is doing, e.g. right now Charlotte should be the only person calling Nancy Conney, etc.

I continue to glean information from your comments here that pertain to barn owl nesting.

I live in Chico, CA and I will be busy tomorrow as I am part of a group who has invited Paul Young, author of "The Shack", here this weekend to speak. This book has caused an amazing positive response for millions of people throughout the world so there must be some good parts in it.