Sunday, May 16, 2010

My response to comments in previous post

I wrote these two comments in the "comments" section, in response to Kate and Chipmonk and their experiences after trying to converse w/ the journalist who wrote the article, who said that he may have played down the dangers, and also said that this is "nature, after all", and after trying to email Tom to ask politely if she could talk to him, and having her own email simply emailed back to her as a response...these were my comments about that. And now, apparently, Carlos is announcing to his very large audience that " 'branching' is a made up word."

Stacey O'Brien said...

I've seen a proliferation of anti-science, anti-truth points of view surrounding this whole thing. The "journalist" who dismisses fact, supplanting that with his own uninformed assumptions and the statement that "this is nature after all". Nature? A box on a pole is nature? We really have a problem if we've got a generation of people who truly think that THAT is nature! I feel sorry for them!

Next thing you know they'll be thinking their swimming pool is a natural lake with all the ecosystems you'd find in a real lake - never mind all that chlorine... Suddenly you'll see signs in front yards advertising that you can go "bass fishing" in their backyards...magical thinking will rule the world! "But sir, the bass can't survive in the chlorine!"...
"Well,'s nature's way!"


May 16, 2010 9:07 PM

Stacey O'Brien said...

Those of you who have tried to talk to Tom, know that you are not alone! Over a period of years, many wildlife experts, workers, rehabbers, and fish and game agents have tried to talk to Tom about his design and have explained to him about branching and how the box is horribly designed and how to improve it, and they've all gotten the same brush off that you got.

Let it be well known that HE KNOWS all about what the problems are. He just doesn't want to hear about it or do anything about it.

That's why the only recourse is to enact laws that can be enforced. When people throw away the moral decency, the desire to do the right thing, the desire to do no harm, then all we have left is the law.

When the greed of man runs amuck and no one cares for the lives of the innocent, we must turn to the law, for these people have no internal law by which to measure themselves - no conscience tugging at them. They do not understand the laws of integrity, so we must give them the laws of the courts, the laws that they themselves live by - force.

But since we do live with a conscience, with our own internal laws of integrity, that force must be contained and bound by the law. So it is to the law that we now turn, to make change on behalf of the innocent.

And we will stand and speak for these lovely, innocent, sentient, intelligent beings with whom we share this earth. We are stewards of the earth and of the lives of those less powerful than ourselves who have no voice with which to speak.

There has always been evil, there has always been greed, but there have also been those who are willing to stand up against that evil and greed and say, "enough is enough".

We've come to love these creatures, these little owls, and we can never go back to not knowing that love, so now we'll defend those we've come to love. Love is stronger than evil and stronger than greed.



Monica K. said...

I find it really discouraging that Tom reportedly will not engage in a debate about his box design. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, so I guess I had always assumed that Tom--like many of us before we started watching the Owl Box and learning about barn owls--simply did not know that his design was inadequate. I was hoping that he was being educated through this process and would implement the needed modifications.

What I don't understand is how he in good conscience can continue to sell his owl boxes knowing how flawed they are.

Cybee said...

Apparently there is a market for owlboxes. If there was competition that would market proper owlboxes ( "owlet friendly" boxes ), seems it would edge out the "lesser/defective" owlboxes (i.e. Toms) or drive changes to upgrade owlboxes in general (hopefully, prices would be somewhat competitive as well). Both regulations (enforceable ) and proper competition would certainly help.

HeyNicePlanet said...

On the topic of Owl boxes and agricultural use of Barn Owls for rodent control:

I am posting this link so folks can see a variety of owl boxes being used in agricutural areas in Israel and Jordan. I think there are branching issues with these boxes too - but they could give us design ideas. One owlbox they open shows a double compartment design, tho still a low door. Also re-use of ammunition boxes for owl boxes -of all things.

I have objections to a number of things in the video - (don't get me started on the innumeracy of the 24% crop increase graph), but thought it had enough of value to be woth posting.
Here is a link from World Owl Trust with more info about Barn Owls in Israel and the project in the video:

Perhaps we could try to contact some owl box makers other than Tom Stephan and see what issues they deal with - and if they would be interested in trying some new designs. I imagine that cost and practicality of installation are key - but would love to hear more from people on the front lines of this issue - box makers and agricultural users of the boxes.

Anonymous said...

Monica, I feel the same as you. For Tom Stephan of Air Superiority to acknowledge he is building and installing flawed and inadequate owl boxes, he must first admit to himself he is wrong. I'm not sure the man's ego will allow this.

I only know of two owl boxes he has installed (M/M & O/O) and in each case the people who paid him money were left with the task of building further structures to help assist the owlets survive.

Very frustrating to watch all this.

Joy and Doug said...

Just wanted to give a heads up to all of the blog followers that Max and Pattison did some awesome fledging and flying overnight. Pretty much all of the highlights are caught on video, so make sure to check it out - it's just awesome! The videos are under the live video stream.

Catarina said...

I have to disagree with the sentiment that laws are the "only" way. Information and publicity are also valuable.