Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nancy Conney at

I wanted to give Nancy Conney's number and info to the person who wants to put the information into one place, or one document, or start collecting it and sending it to me to post....but I don't want her to be overwhelmed either...

she takes care of hundreds, probably thousands of every imagineable species of hawk, owl, eagle, and falcon almost singlehandedly, AND goes out and does educational talks something like 300 days out of the year. Her kitchen always has piles of defrosting rats and mice in the sink, and she's always nurturing a critical case, like an electrocuted eagle or an owl on the edge of dying of starvation that has to be fed through a tube cuz he's too weak to swallow at first..that kind of time intensive activity.

But, she IS on the board for the California wildlife rehabbers association, whatever it's called, so she knows EVERYBODY from the federal wildlife agents to the people who issue permits to the lawmakers.

She's not an internet person - she doesn't have time, and when I went to Julian I discovered how very difficult it is for people up in her area to even get a decent internet connection. EG. I stayed in a lodge that advertised WiFi. They didn't have it. I was on vacation and resting so it didn't bother me, but I was curious so I asked why they don't have it. They said, "Because the neighbor turned his off". hahaha! I couldn't quite get across to them that they would have to buy their OWN wifi and connection...

I was later told, that in Julian, there's a certain business that leaves its wi fi on after closing, and that the parking lot fills up w/ people w/ laptops using this business' wifi to go read their email! hahaha!


And people also sit in the library parking lot w/ their laptops, feeding off of the library's wifi.

So...up in the mountains where you've got go have your own tank of gas filled every couple of weeks to run your stove and washer/dryer, a fast internet connection is a rarity. For whatever reason. Even cellphones don't work up there.

I mean, you have to get satellite internet or something like that....and it's expensive...compared to where I live. Here, I can just connect to my television cable for a fast wideband for a few more dollars per month. Some things are just that way.

So...I think is the place to get the info as to who to start lobbying for changes in regulations. I do think it can be done!

I never dreamed in a million years that I'd be doing this! I didn't really even know about the problem until wildlife people started telling me their tale of woe about these boxes. I, too, thought they might be ok.

See, I've only ever studied WILD OWLS in WILD NESTS, and have not studied owls in an owl box before. lol!!

and in Wild Nests, this problem is nonexistent.

I'm learning along w/ the everyone else about the racket that's been going on concerning these boxes.

As for "nice". I read the autobiography of a woman who escaped from horrendous abuse and a kind of slavery in one of the most extreme FLDS communities, where everyone from judges to the cops on down were in collusion to marry off 11 and 12 year old girls to old geezers who said it was the "will of god". And, within these multiple wife situations, her "husband" baited each wife against the other, and when one wife was mad at the other, she would beat that wife's CHILDREN mercilessly and at times almost to the point of death, and the mother could do nothing about it.

The worst thing a woman could do was to fail to be "nice". "Niceness" was the key word used to mean, "You cannot speak up for what's right, nor can you defend your children, because you are not coming off as sweet and nice."

That book was an eye opener, I tell you!

They used phrases like "Make sweet" to describe how the woman or girl was supposed to smile through every kind of torturous abuse you can think about, which I won't describe here. And it's amazing that this was the most common accusation lobbed at a woman - that she wasn't being "nice".

Ok I've belabored the point. It just has struck me lately for some reason.

But there are times when, if nice means agreeing with everything and going along with everything, we can't do that. How did we even become a country? Someone had to stand up against the crown. I'm sure there were people who said, "don't make trouble. Just keep your head down." What about the civil rights movement? The movement that stopped child labor in this country - the sweatshops where children were treated like slaves? What about the antislavery movement? The right for women to vote movement. I'm sure those ladies were talked down to and berated and told to just shut up and be happy and nice about it all. I don't mean people have to be ugly but I disagree that people have to always just go along with the way things are.

Real progress happens when people see a problem and fix it. Amen to progress!



Anonymous said...

Hi Stacey,
I couldn't find an email address to contact you at, so I decided to just leave you a comment on your blog :)

Anyway, I read your book Wesley the Owl back in November and loved it. I'm an undergrad student at Cornell University and was taking a class at the Lab of Ornithology at the time. A friend lent it to me, and I'm very glad he did.

I was delighted to learn of the Molly and McGee live nest feed, and even more pleased once you joined in the discussion. I have never been to the chat rooms, but it is appalling to me how you were kicked out and treated badly when you were doing what any sensible person would do. It does not pay to gloss over unpleasantness in scientific endeavors (I am a Biology student, by the way), but I guess some people have a hard time facing the cruel facts of life.

I will continue to read your blog, as I have for the last few weeks, and am trying to play a part in the education of the public. It's what I've wanted to do since I was little. I volunteer with a group here on campus that does raptor education, and while we do not have a barn owl we have 5 owl species in addition to hawks, eagles, falcons, and a turkey vulture. Most of the birds were injured, rescued and cannot be released.

Anyway, as an upcoming member of the ornithological scientific community I am a great admirer of the way you have reached out to the public with your book and through the live nest cam, and hopefully one day I can have the same positive impact on others as you already have.

Kayla G.

Charlotte said...

GULP. I'm ready to push my sleeves up on this one. I'm not a leader and really really hope that others out there are and come forward. I talked with Nancy a few times last week (AMAZING lady!!) and would be glad to coordinate paper or information gathering with her but the thought of "leading" on this scares the scat out of me.. I am also clear across the country in Florida though the internet has brought us all together in a way that distance is all but irrelevant. How about it? Anyone else care to join me on this ride?

Charlotte said...

And Stacey, I did hear you say that Nancy doesn't "do" internet that frequently. I don't see that as an obstacle, really. She's wonderful to talk to and the resources she passes on via phone can be "converted" to internet pretty easily, I imagine!

bonnie91934 said...

Hi Stacey.....I contacted Nancy at Skyhunters about volunteering. She responded, now waiting for details. Thanks for telling us about Skyhunters. Bonnie

Anonymous said...

I feel pretty sure that if you were a dude, you wouldn't be nagged to be "nice" so much.

Angela said...

I've been following your posts (and Molly's box) and just wanted to pipe in and say thanks for sticking up for science and for the owls. I really love what you've said here about being "nice". Yup, it might take the fun out of a "happy place" but it would be so wrong not to point out problems, especially where lives are at stake. Thanks for not just standing by. Thanks for being willing to get into the fray. The people who just want a "happy place" are the ones who cause the problems to begin with.

Eva =uD said...

Ola Stacey!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mas quanto tempo... fico feliz de entrar em seu blog de novo! =D
Mil perdões, viajei para um local em que não era possível conectar-se à internet...
fico feliz em estar de volta!
Depois vou me informar direito sobre Molly & McGeen, porque eu estou realmente por fora do assunto. =[
Vou entrar menos em meu blog, porque estou com muitos afazeres do colegio. Mas nao se esqueça que eu te admiro muito, e vou tentar ao máximo acompanhar seu blog!

Dadu said...

Charlotte: I have sent you an e-mail about the interest in organizing regarding regulated owl boxes...I think. Have not done too much research yet but am willing to start something or other.

Anonymous said...

I left a voicemail with Audubon's National office in NYC, and spoke with Lynn Tennefoss, VP of Audubon's State Programs & Chapter Services Office in Missoula MT. She forwarded the email I then wrote her with links to the Barn Owl Trust site, this blog, and Molly's live feed to the California Chapter of Audubon, but admitted that all their attention and resources , as well as those of other wildlife agencies, is currently being focused on the Gulf of Mexico (which is totally understandable.)
At the same time, the fact that nobody's aware of the magnitude of THIS problem doesn't mean it doesn't warrant attention.

Charlotte said...

oooooh, can you feel it? I think it has a PULSE.

Gen said...

Here's a good place to begin:

We need to start sharing email addresses or setup a Facebook page.

What do you think? (I'm afraid I haven't tackled Facebook yet -- don't have an account).


Anonymous said...

Stacey, there are a lot of people who'd LOVE to see you on the Ustream chat... the OTHER chatroom (overflow). One of the Ustream community help ops gave us the URL to get right in there, and said you could too. There are NO moderators in there,(if you see a blue name up top it's a Ustream helper) and you are not banned fromthat room. That where the people who'd rather not be in the main chat hang anyway, and you'd make a lot of people happy if you showed up there. It's empty during the day, but pretty lively at night. Hope to see you when you're up to it!

Gen said...

Darn! That link truncated. Here it is again but split. Enter it without spaces as one line:


Anonymous said...


Stacey O'Brien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacey O'Brien said...

Querida Eva,
Oi Bem-vindo de volta! Espero que você gozou suas férias. Estou feliz que retornou a este blog, e mim obrigado para incentivar me com suas palavras gentis! Eu sempre gozo ler o que você escreve. Obrigado! Sinceramente, stacey