Monday, May 3, 2010

SCIENTISTS HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH WILD OWLS FOR DECADES

Scientists have been studying wild owls for decades and decades. I have watched close to 100 wild nests personally, as well as doing the immersion study w/ Wesley.


Scientists are so intent upon watching wild creatures that we have created/used submarines and other submersibles to get as deep into the ocean as possible to understand deep ocean organisms. We crawl through jungles and have our feet rot off and get all kinds of tropical diseases just for the pleasure of learning how this or that animal behaves IN THE WILD. We camp for years in snow, rain, hail, wind, extreme heat, just to watch our species of choice 24/7 for days, weeks. months, years. lifetimes.
Lifetimes have been spent watching wild barn owls.

Did you know that?

LIFETIMES!

I just want to point this out once again, which I've done over and over again on the chat.

Thanks!
Stacey

45 comments:

Leenie FJCruiser said...

Please don't remove this post! It needs to be seen.

wess_liana said...

AMEN!!! Stacey!!!! FABULOUS POST!!! don't you dare take it down! It's needed to be said by someone qualified to do the saying for such a long time! You GO GIRL!!! ((((BIG HUGS)))
-Liana

Eagle Eye said...

STACEY I LOVE YOU!!!!!

I am standing up and clapping "Bravo" well said you did 'Owlsome"!!! Right on, what a wonderful inspiration you are and you have said every thing that needed to be said! We who work with wildlife know nothing compared to the "Arm Chair" bilogists, this is so sad and you put it right. I will be referring many to this blogg!

Peace and blessings!!

Roni said...

Thank you, Stacey. I am not a scientist, but I do have common sense, and what you say makes common sense. Don't remove your post!

Magicsmom said...

Stacey, please do not remove this post!

birdie said...

Agreed, do not delete this post. People think their meat comes in plastic wrap these days. We need the truth out here. If someone is so delusional to think a retired Realtor knows mores than a biologist, then they deserve to be fleeced. You have changed many peoples opinions of owls with your work. I read your book on Wesley a year before this current fiasco. I was inspired! I passed it along, I wanted to share your experience immediately with friends. I'm a city girl, I saw through the ego early on, I want what you want, what is best for the owls. Be well Stacey. We hear you, we are here.

Margaret said...

Wonderful post Stacey, and so true. Please do not remove it, people need to read this and hear the truth from an expert!

Janet said...
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BasBleu02 said...

Please don't reconsider your words written with momentary passion. They will be just as true once the moment has passed. They are valuable words! As many people as watch these owlets should read these words. Thank you.

bikebabe said...

Ego is man's greatest enemy I think, well, greed is way up there too. I am very sad this week. I cried when I saw the birds with the oil on them, I cry when I see what we are doing to our amazing, beautiful, incredibly intricate world, and ultimately to our selves. I don't think that you should take this post down. I envy the life of some scientists, but also experience some of the frustration of trying to help people understand why we should educate ourselves and be very cautious about what is done to our earth. Unfortunately, our culture, lifestyles, and big cooperation mentality prevents REAL information from getting out there, and some people believe whatever is told to them without thinking and investigating further. It nearly always seems to boil down to $ or power/politics.

Margo said...

Stacey, Thank GOODNESS you said it!!! Don't you dare take this post down...EXPOSE THE GREED! You are the only one smart enough to...brave enough perhaps. The sad thing is, so many are and have gotten caught up in this whole thing and are being completely misinformed.

It disgusts me that he's teaching CHILDREN wrong information!!! I swear there are people planted in the chat room to pump selling stuff.

I'm very sad to say, I was completely caught up in Molly, and thought to myself "what a lovely creature, so beautiful, look at those eyes" and was riveted by the whole thing.

Then I went to the "fundraiser" lunch at EB and "met" Carlos. The man couldn't have given me the time of day and was acting like the biggest celebrity on earth. It's weird what happens when you look someone in the eye and then you see....really see who they are.

Then I looked even further and his real estate, his book, etc. The only people that are profiting are people connected with Carlos and who can make a buck themselves at the expense of these owls. When he added the ledge...I swear, something changed in Molly. I'm not a scientist at all, but I swear, something happened. And for him to insult the experts is just...well, unjust. HOW DARE HE is right!!!!!

Buy a mug, buy a t-shirt, make a donation...that's not happening with Owlivia. It's because Carlos SOUGHT publicity with his connections. He wanted this. It wasn't innocent. Look in the man's eyes. He's as bad as Tom.

Shame, shame, shame on them! And using his grandson and saying how he's spent SO much money on these cameras, etc. You are absolutely right....at this point, if he REALLY cared, he'd bring in someone that KNOWS what they're doing and observing but the almighty greed takes over once again. Shame. I swear I wish I could set up a web site to stop the madness of Molly.

I for one, could not be happier that you stated what you did!!!! You will have a following....and I'm going to send everyone of my friends and family HERE, not to Carlos' site.

All I can say is "as you sow, so shall you reap." Eventually. I hope they get slammed for taxes or slammed by someone for using a recipe (yeah! RECIPES for sale for Molly lovers!) THAT'S what he's promoting, not the well being of beautiful Molly and family.

GREED!

PEOPLE OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!

Gaffney said...

HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a GREAT day. GREAT post! Don’t you dare change one word or remove your post. So many things that needed to be said you’ve now said loud and clear, THANK YOU! We ‘worry warts’ have been trying our hearts out though.

Nice only works when you are trying to communicate with someone who is willing to listen, and you really went above and beyond in that regard. It probably took a lot out of you to say what you did but I thank you!

GO STACEY!!!

cricket said...

Stacey, please keep the post. Some people are set in their ways and terribly stubborn. The owls need someone on the other side to be just as stubborn.
There is a big difference between an owl finding a poor nesting area in a barn or tower and "inviting" them to our habitat with a poorly designed box.
Thank you for educating so many people.

kathr said...

Stacy I am sorry but you really need to get a grip on yourself. This entry is so extreme. Just hope you are not going to opening yourself to some lawsuits.

chipmonk said...

Thank you sooo much Stacey,please do not remove this blog!!.Like most that comment in your blog,I too and sick of the trying to make money,instead of caring for the owls.I hope and pray nothing happens to them.Someday Mr wonderfuls 5 minutes of fame will end.How arragant of him to think he knows more than the experts.Keep up the fight,but also take care of yourself,we all need you.

Faire said...

It is now more The Carlos Show than the owl video stream. But with over 10 million viewer hits, that's a lot of misinformation being spread. What you said, therefore, needed to be said. I hope your demythologizing and concerns get the publicity they deserve. Carlos has been getting a lot of media attention, and a big problem with the media is that they are likely to just take Carlos' word that he is doing something unique and special and going where no scientist has gone before him.

catbirdcan said...
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suzie2 said...

Bravo, Stacey!
I am glad you spoke your mind as you have every right (and then some) to do so. Do not take this off.
You stand in your integrity and background..do not back down on that.
One of the things I have loved so much about The Owl Box has been your presence there.
You are the one who supplies valuable information based on experience and studies and you are a delight to chat with...and a true inspiration.
It is late and I can't type all that I think nor put it as well as I would like to.
I can only hope you will return as a chatter and not let all of this frustration keep you from doing and saying what you feel is right.
You have been a great asset to the chat there and I hope to see you continue.
For anyone else reading this, I am not typing this as taking sides or being against anyone, if that makes sense. I would, however, really like to see that Stacey has truly been heard-all you have to do is listen. She is offering the best for what we all love so much and it truly should be acknowledged.
We are all in this world together folks.
Bravo Again, Stacey...take good care!
(If I show up here twice again (LOL!), it's a problem I have with Google-sheez-I apologize!).

Melanie said...

Part 1 (i had to post in two sections)

DO NOT REMOVE THIS POST!!! I repeat (with desperate passion!!) PLEASEEEEEE...DO NOT REMOVE YOUR POST!

I am humbled by your bravery and conviction.
I have been watching Molly and her family from (almost) day ONE. I got the link from a family member, and have been captivated ever since. My LOVE and fascination for animals/nature goes beyond words. I am currently a dog trainer, and LOVE how intelligent these creatures are. I am hoping to continue my schooling (I have 4 years towards a Biology degree - BS..but majored in Dance) specializing in animal behavior.

I remember seeing your book (as I am also an avid reader of all things animal) in B&N once, and thought "Now THAT'S something I want to read!" But at the time didn't get it for some reason. Since, being introduced to Molly...I went out immediately and purchased it. (i have yet to read it...but will soon)

I came into Molly's world via a different website that has embedded the USTREAM feed into their webpage., and there is also a chat room that accompanies it. I tried being "a part" of the chat room at USTREAM...but found it to be cruel and harsh...and moves WAY to fast for me to keep up. So I went back to the other chat room - moves much slower, people are seemingly kinder, etc.

From the beginning - it was just that..Kind people coming together to observe and chat about Molly and her eggs...and the anticipation of them hatching.
And that is where I first "met" Carlos. In the beginning...he seemed quite friendly and just as eager and excited to be learning about this along with the rest of us. But over time...I've seen that (and the chat room) change. Sadly. :(

I agree with the other commenters that have said this. He slowly (or maybe quickly is the appropriate word) became "an expert" (even though he self-confessed several times that he wasn't) and his viewpoints were formed via his EGO. I began to not like him as much...it felt different. I'd see him come on the camera and talk down to us "normal folk"....like we didn't know anything or were stupid.
I have 4 years of Biology under my belt...and know a heck of alot more than he does when it comes to animal behavior. Now, I too...and NO owl expert, so I looked alot of information up on the internet...from respected sites like the Barn Owl Project.

Funny. He kept saying that he knew NOTHING about owls until Molly...and that he too had to look things up and read books. Um...HELLOOOOO Carlos!!!!???....who do you think PROVIDED that information for your reading pleasure?

SCIENTISTS!!! BIOLOGISTS!!! Scientists and biologist just like STACEY who's field of study has been this exact species of bird! Who are you kidding? And why do you keep repeating yourself when you say that "at the end of this we will ALL be owl experts"???? ARe you crazy!? Did you hit your head?

We...the average people watching this stream...will NOT be owl experts...not. even. close. WE get our information from other sources...that the REAL experts have provided for us...after YEARS of study/research! And believe me...it takes MORE...MUCH MORE than watching ONE little owl clutch to become an expert. Again...I say...are you crazy?

Melanie said...

Part 2 (cont. from Part 1)
And then the chat room also changed. All of a sudden...a little "clique" formed of people who deemed themselves the "leaders" and "know-it-alls" of the chat room...and felt it was THEIR God given responsibility to "INFORM" everyone else (that was not as intelligent as them apparently) as to WHAT barn owls are all about.

I tried on several occasions to bring up alternative viewpoints..and tried to question the very nature of their absoluteness on certain things. I even tried to explain to them about you and your blog...and that fact that I would be more inclined to put my trust and value the opinion of someone who has been studying these EXACT birds for over 20 years, than I would some retired guy...who just decided to put up an owl box in his backyard and "see" what happens...and who has self-confessed he knows NOTHING! But suddenly he knows everything??? Come! ON!

So when I did question things or offer alternative suggestions...I was blackballed basically. Cast out. Chastised. Forgotten. I went against the grain of the MOB...and got branded for it. And the fact that I even mentioned you or your blog...got me in worse. I too have been called a "worry wart" and have felt as if what I have to say is contraband...and I "just don't know what I'm talking about".

SO! FRUSTRATING!!!

I completely understand and empathize with your feelings and the need for your use of ALL CAPS! :) :)

It pains me to know that what started out as a great way to venture into the world of a wild creature...has now become a battle of wills...and a male trying to "display" who has the bigger ego...

Now I cannot stand to watch. or chat. Which saddens me - b/c I had met some great people on there. I feel...I KNOW that there are others like me out there, afraid to speak up...say something, question the mob, b/c they can be intimidating and down right mean. But, I say to you....BRAVO!

I am humbled by your ability to stand your ground...speak your piece and to NOT be afraid to wave your flag of reason! You have EVERY right. It is YOUR blog after all...and don't let "them" pressure you into taking this down. Not. one. inch.

I have come to "know" you through this blog...and have gained a HUGE amount of respect for you. I DO hope you continue to be a voice....OUR voice of reason and real expert knowledge in a world of wannabes.

You are our OWL...our MOLLY. Keep being her ambassador - I feel that you were meant to be here...at THIS time....for a reason. Wesley's life was not in vain...and I hope for his legacy and yours..you continue this blog (even after the Molly mod dies down) and continue to be that voice we need.

You..by default...are already an activist! You've moved me in ways you may never know. And I feel BRAVER for having been a part of your world.

I'm sorry this comment carried on and on forever....and it was completely just "spilling out of me"...so there isn't a lot of organized structure....but it was my first time responding to any of your posts (I've read them all)...and I've been wanting to speak out, but was afraid before. Now...I am not. And I had a lot to say.

Do NOT.....please, I beg you...do not remove this post. It has been said many times....It NEEDS to be seen.

Namaste. :)

msg said...

Kathr, you admitted in a previous post that, "I am not an owl expert." You then went on in the same post to insinuate Stacey's interest in the M&M feed was something less than sincere, somehow misinformed and geared to disparage the Royals' intent to commercialize the box solely for her own personal gain... I guess. Regardless, now that you're bringing up possible "lawsuits" -- which reads like a troll's attempt to intimidate Stacey's further efforts to post her legitimate and empirically qualified perspective of the M&M box -- makes me wonder whether you've got the best interests of the owls in mind or not.

I'm venturing not.

Babs said...

I agree, do not delete this post. I too have heard and seen you be dismissed as "only working with owls in captivity".
Since this is untrue, let the truth be known.
And I love Molly and what Carlos is doing, but don't agree with how your expertise has been pushed aside.

Melanie said...

oh...and I wanted to add (but forgot)

I too find it fascinating...that all the while we're watching owl behavior play out in front of our eyes, we are also watching human behavior right next door. I think the owls have a wing up on us. ;) Just sayin.

Susan said...

Stacey -- I'm sorry, but if you want to be taken seriously as a "professional", then these whiney, self-righteous posts have to stop. You may be well-educated and genuinely concerned for the welfare of the owls, but you're really doing a disservice by posting a public blog written like a spoiled brat who didn't get her way and is starved for attention.

You have a forum to provide great information to millions of people through Carlos' ustream site. PLEASE tone down your rhetoric and stop throwing tantrums in the chat. I'm sure you have a lot to offer, but I just can't take you seriously when you come across so unprofessionally and like such a brat. I logged out angry tonight after witnessing your tantrum in chat. The unnecessary drama you are causing is really ruining the experience for me.

I know that sometimes emotions can get the best of us, but if you want to be respected as a knowledgeable biologist, these online rants won't help you achieve that. You really came across here as someone who was more concerned about having her ego bruised than finding a way to help the owls.

Stacey O'Brien said...

I apologize for changing the blog, but the veiled threat of lawsuits did scare me. Also, I'm not sure it was the best approach. Even truth, if spoken harshly, may not be something that can be heard. Truth spoken softly is sometimes more easily heard. So I spoke it more softly.

I did save the more passionate post, however. I AM writing a book, of course, so anything I said there could also be said in the story of everything that happened w/ wildlife and animals and people in this next book.

I hope you won't lose respect for me that I changed the post, but it was too passionate for right now.

The whole story will come out in the next book. The BACKstory of what happened will be in the next book....

So I must be patient. I will be patient. Biologists are usually patient and I am usually patient, so I will continue to be patient (pop quiz - how many times did I use the same word in this paragraph? My editor would faint...)

-Stacey O'Brien

Stacey O'Brien said...

I apologize for changing the blog, but the veiled threat of lawsuits did scare me. Also, I'm not sure it was the best approach. Even truth, if spoken harshly, may not be something that can be heard. Truth spoken softly is sometimes more easily heard. So I spoke it more softly.

I did save the more passionate post, however. I AM writing a book, of course, so anything I said there could also be said in the story of everything that happened w/ wildlife and animals and people in this next book.

I hope you won't lose respect for me that I changed the post, but it was too passionate for right now.

The whole story will come out in the next book. The BACKstory of what happened will be in the next book....

So I must be patient. I will be patient. Biologists are usually patient and I am usually patient, so I will continue to be patient (pop quiz - how many times did I use the same word in this paragraph? My editor would faint...)

-Stacey O'Brien

Stacey O'Brien said...
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Margo said...

We still completely support you and will continue to do so Stacey and can certainly respect the need to "tone it down."

It's sad that people throw around the word "lawsuit" as a method of intimidation. There's nothing they could sue for that ANY court of law would find in their favor.

It's hard to sit with our passion isn't it? I'm sure you spent hours mulling it all around in your head and then let fear sets in and takes over...but it's completely understandable because we've all felt it. I still respect you 100% for letting US speak our mind and giving us a place to go and BE HEARD.

I'm sorry you had to feel the internal struggle you did. Others will feel a different internal struggle when it all comes crashing down on them. No pun intended, of course.

Stay true. That's all I can say. And that you have the support probably of more than "10 million" views.

Here....you are adored and the obvious Carlos plants, are completely outnumbered. This is YOUR blog...they can't sue for what you say and feel. Just know you're protected. Spiritually and legally.

As you think, so you are.

Big huge hug.

Ter-o-fla said...

Stacey, I unfortunately did not see the original text in your blog, but I could imagine it would have spoken as if from my own heart.

I feel for you.
I have great respect for you.
Carry on!

What I have a hard time understanding is purposeful ignorance.
It is everywhere.
It is scary.

I look forward to your new book!


-d-

Charlotte said...

Stacey, No need to apologize for having taken your post down. I am SO glad so many of us got to read it before you did. Don't concern yourself over the Carlos cult followers' veiled threats. If Carlos were foolish enough to try and cook up a lawsuit over something you said (using your protected rights to free speech under your OWN blog), I'm afraid he could be the one burning in the fat of his own ignorance. Carlos' continued refusal to educate himself about the BASICS of barn owl fledging and to adequately provide for these needs once he coaxed these legally protected birds on to his property is something HE might think about before going down that road.

Janet said...
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owl said...

I've seen Planet Earth and other discovery channel documentaries on wildlife. And I am sure those are just a small percentage of what "real" wildlife research biologists have observed and studied. Oh yeah, watching these documentaries does not make me an expert.

I too bought into the Molly madness. But the constant marketing and advertising of the Molly merchandise changed the whole dynamic for me. It started making me uncomfortable constantly seeing the Mods asking people to go to the website to donate and buy. Then again it was said that the public asked for merchandise, but why not share your photos for free and let people make their own merch for 1/2 the price or less. You chose to pay for the owl box and cameras and equipment, people say you don't need the money. Since it is a so-called "hobby" why benefit monetarily from it?

I would rather see comments and info on websites/books/experts Carlos has referenced to learn more about Barn Owls. Maybe then I would be less of a "worry wart" because then I would know he is trying to learn about Barn Owls(and not by just watching Molly) and not saying nature will take its course we will not interfere but you did interfere by putting up a man-made owl box. But instead he choses to not share the spotlight with anyone or give credit to anyone else. A part of me wants to believe that he is learning from this and is trying to improve it but his ego seems to be getting in the way. I guess that is what makes him succesful, but this is a live animal, not money in the bank. All the publicity he is getting, it would have been fantastic if he shared names of wildlife rescue organizations on air.

DJ Sommers said...

I think it was wise to remove your post; not because there was anything wrong with it, but because of the type of people you are dealing with. You are dealing with an incredible ego and opinionated personality.

You don't have to be a scientist to recognize everything that is "unfortunate" about the situation with that owl box set up. I viewed the recording of Carlos' yard and the owl box situation. He was attempting to assuage fears many of us have for the owlets fledging. Well, he pointed out the fence that they will be able to land on. Is that the same fence dividing his yard from the yard where the two Great Danes live? I love dogs, but they are preditors and if an owlets should happen to land on the wrong side of the fence it may have an unfortunate outcome. Some things are so obvious that it's hard to believe that Carlos and those in his chat room can be so blind to them.

I work with birds in a situation where the management are not "animal people." Unfortunately they unlimately call some of the shots, which have been, and continue to be very detrimental to the well-being of some of the animals under my care. They are much like Carlos in that they are very strong in the assumption that they are right, based on no knowledge at all. An example is the huge cat fish in one of our ponds that sucked down 5 Mandarin ducklings as they jumped into the water when leaving their nest. I requested that the cat fish be removed and was informed that cat fish do not eat ducklings. He stands by this statement even though there was a complaint from a visitor who saw it all.

It is hard to watch those owlets and read the chat. So many of them are sure they know what is best for the owls and it is obvious from their statements that they are clueless. What ever happened to common sense? What ever happened to researching something to gain accurate, correct knowledge? You are not supposed to call people names on that chat, yet you will immediately called a worry wart if you express a concern.

Sorry to rant, but what I'm trying to say is that with opinionated egos you must tread lightly because pushing will just work against you, in my experience. I have to do a lot of brown nosing to get my way and it really rubs me the wrong way to have to work that way as it's just not me. I try to look at it as positive reinforcement rather than a__ kissing. It has worked better for me. I guess it's a way of manipulation, but it is the only way I have been able to even remotely protect the animals I am caring for.

Let's all hope everything ends well and that Carlos recognizes that ALL the owl boxes he saw on poles are a problem and that it doesn't mean it's okay just because there are so many of them. All it means is that someone not concerned for the owl's well-being is making a lot of money at their expense.

mollylover said...

stacey

Sarah said...

Stacey -
I live on the east coast so I was in the chat last night at around 11pm Pacific time and saw things heat up. Then I found your blog and read the post that you have since removed.

I am a HUGE fan of your book - I bought it as soon as I heard you interviewed on NPR (Diane Rehm show, I think) and read it almost without stopping. And when I first started visiting "the owl box" on Ustream I was THRILLED to see you in the chat because I view you as a true Barn Owl expert. I thought (and still think) it's really cool that you choose to spend some of your time there, answering the questions that get asked (on the odd occasion that the chat is actually about owls, lol).

I was horrified (but not surprised) to learn about the problem with the owl box on the pole and the lack of places for the owlets to "branch". I am a dedicated birder and had the privilege 2 years ago to watch a pair of wild Barred owlets branching and it was .... a process that took a couple of weeks. So I had been wondering to myself how Molly's owlets would (a) have room to begin flapping their wings to strengthen them (the box is so small) and (b) have a place to practice short flights and it turns out that until Carlos added the "porch" and the "landing pad" there was no place for these activities to happen so my fears were based in reality after all.

What everyone needs to consider is that when these owlets DO leave the box, if it doesn't go well for them there will be an uproar that will make the whole "where's Molly" episode look TAME. I mean, if there is a lack of branches and perches and no way to get back in the box it will be a failure in a most public way. I hope this doesn't happen because like everyone else I'm emotionally invested in these owlets and am rooting for them to fledge successfully, despite knowing that the odds probably don't favor that outcome.

So I appreciate you trying to bring this to everyone's attention. I hope lots of people read your blog and take the questions back to the chat. I would also hope Carlos would listen to you and/or other wildlife rehab professionals for the well-being of the owls.

Thanks again Stacey for all you are continuing to contribute to the growing body of knowledge about WILD Barn Owls and specifically for being willing to share your time and knowledge with a bunch of well-meaning but under-informed amateurs!

Sarah

mollylover said...

stacey: i have been watching M&M since the day max hatched - it has been one of the best experiences in my life! i too enjoy your expertise in the main chatroom and am one of the many throwing questions your way.... HOWEVER....I am a firm believer in the fact that it is not WHAT you say - but HOW you say it!! here you have failed and disappointed me... it is not professial to conduct yourself with temper tantrums.. it discredits your concerns and makes people lose respect! as far as deleting yesterdays post -- you can not UNRING A BELL....

annmartina said...

Mollylover get real. I don't think it would matter what tone Stacey took in the main chatroom. There are so many people in there who won't listen and "shout" her down. She's been treated disrespectfully since she started visiting. Maybe she's not personally frustrated with you, but don't disregard her very natural frustration with these people who refuse to open their minds. I've been watching since before the eggs have hatched and have seen the main chatroom devolve into PollyAnnas and Kool-Aid drinkers. Who wouldn't be frustrated? If you saw a dangerous situation and someone was in danger but could easily be saved, how would you feel if people prevented you from helping and told you to stop being so negative and you didn't know what you're talking about. OK, how calm would you stay? Would you really care much about hurting their feelings? Stacey is PASSIONATE about owls and she is PASSIONATE in her responses.

Charlotte said...

annmartina.. I couldn't say it any better. Well put. Mollylover, please don't pretend to have respect for Stacey. The zinger that you ended with belies the truth behind your mean spririted expression. Please go back to the Carlos Cult and take your unwelcomed threats with you.

Chris said...

Sarah, the saddest thing is that even if any or all die after their first jump from the box,is that there will be no uproar at all. We will never know what happens to them, since it is not on camera.

mtbyrum said...
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mtbyrum said...
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Dadu said...

Dear Stacey,

I read your book a couple years ago and loved it so much; I so respect the work that you have done and continue to do.

I only learned about all the chat/Carlos controversy last night. Apparently, someone said some things that have hurt your feelings terribly. You have every right to be angry that scientists have been misjudged, that owls have been abused, that the entire environment is being destroyed by humanity.

I have been naively, I guess, enjoying the M&M experience since the second egg was laid. I read last night about the UK Owl Trust boxes and was shocked to know that Molly's box is so ill designed.

I have only glanced periodically at the chat community. It was difficult to read and I could see that the greater portion of it was superficial and not a credible place for owl knowledge...just, well, chat. I would have loved to read the owl facts you supplied.

I learned last night about the judgments people have made regarding Carlos' character and ego in the form of greed, etc. The certainty of their judgments shock me. I have listened to nearly all of his talks with schools etc. It was very clear to me that he did not consider himself an expert and only reported what he had seen and the little he had read. He always encouraged people to study for themselves...we were all watching and learning together.

He is selling merchandise; I say, why not, kind of clever, actually. He used to be a radio personality so he knows to repeat the commercials for the mug, etc. I have never felt forced to buy anything and I haven't, except the cartoons and ebook---cheap for what I get. I have appreciated the fact that he has money to spare to spend on such great quality technology to make the experience so enjoyable for me and others, I am amazed how much time and equipment it takes. How super that he and his grandson can do something together.

I wondered why the little "patio" appeared and why he built that platform. I think he is doing his best to provide some safety now that he knows the bad design of the box. What should he have done? Should he have made a UK box and then transferred the owls to that and then installed it on a proper tree? Would the owls be OK with that interference? Perhaps he has not added enough safety ledges...it has got be be disappointing for him not to have known to contact owl experts, etc. He trusted the person who made his owl box to know, maybe. If he ever has the courage to do this again, even with a proper UK box and owl experts by his side, I will be surprised.

The hurt and controversy, the danger to the owls from the ignorance of good intentioned people has created a certain sadness to the experience. How can it be turned into a good cause that will be beneficial to barn owls? Can the amateur owl lovers work together with the scientists? Can the amateur, stupid owl lovers be forgiven for their ignorance?

Sincerely,
Superdadu

Chris said...

Jennifer, again, too many generalities. Few of us refer to Koolaid or cult. I personally don't believe in any namecalling or labelling of anyone. What does upset many is the way 5 people jump on us any time we raise substantive concerns.
There are many in Chat who feel the same, but are afraid to speak, because they are labelled as worry warts. I wish the name calling would stop. Carlos has done a great service by showing us these wonderful creatures. Now I hope he will continue to learn how to make it safe for them.

Victoria said...

Wow. I was in main chat last night and someone came in asking if anyone had seen Stacey's blog; that she seemed pretty angry. I had just read the blog a few hours before that and thought this person was just trying to start a fire.

I don't need to see the original for myself, I can imagine it must have been peppered with emotion.

I have been in chat before when people have dismissed something someone tried to share, that they had learned from Stacey. I have seen persistance by some to "convince" the others that what they had to say was valid, based in fact, annoy those they were trying to convince. I have seen a moderator get angy and tell someone that if one more thing was said about Stacey, the post would be deleted.

I have been in main chat and overflow and had the pleasure to have Stacey join us. I haven't been able to get into overflow for several weeks. The "secret handshake" doesn't work for me, so I only know what I see in main. Generally, if only a few mention Stacey the chat remains calm, but if someone tries to "argue"(chat rules), they will be shoved out of the room. I have flustered moderator feathers by asking what their source of information is. Usually there is no place specific they can give me, so they think I am being a pest.

I have learned that there are people in there who only show up for the entertainment, to gossip, to side with what's popular so they can feel good. Humans can be like that. I try to stay out of their way.

Carlos feels that what he is doing is good enough. I know he has a powerful position right now to teach others interested in owl boxes. Carlos stated this morning that he is not interested in the "owl box" business. I believe him. He was simple in his intent. Wanted to do something to please his wife and enjoy the owls. All that he has been doing so far has been for his and his family's pleasure. "Wouldn't it be fun if." I can hear him now in my head and envision his entusiasm. I think Carlos is a good man.

I am sorry to hear someone who met him personally did not get a good vibe from him. I hope she is wrong, but maybe she isn't.

We all have a responsibility to be the best we can be, and do the best we can do. If someone is telling you that what you are doing isn't the best, listen, look, think, and do something about it.

Simply dismissing someone's views because they are not your own...well look what that gets us around the world.

I will continue to watch the owl box and be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Thank you, Stacey. Without you, my voice would not be heard.

darien said...

hey Stacey, I think that modifying the post was probably the right thing to do...but..and it's a big but...I was right here saying the exact same things. You were right. Carlos is seeing $$$ everywhere, and will soon be marketing his owlboxes and citing his vast experience to be making whatever modifications he makes.

The really sad thing is that he is in a terrific position to do what he said he was going to do at the beginning--watch and learn, and share it with everyone. He hasn't done that. He's marketed himself and the owls. And if I didn't love them (because of what I read in YOUR book, not his rhetoric), then I would probably be sitting here going--just wait, one of them will fall and die. Then what will you do Carlos?

But I won't do that to the owls. OR to you. Hang in there, okay? You have a fan in me. Carlos...is a means to an end at the moment for me, and will never be anything more.