Friday, June 11, 2010

An example of an owlet trying to get back into a box

This has a narrative that oversimplifies the situation. I don't know if there is a tree nearby, or whata the exact situation is. I do know that if an owlet is strong enough, he/she can climb up the pole and not encounter a "ceiling", ie, he can continue up to the top because the pole is not in the middle of the box floor.

However, this is unusual in that most of the owlets somehow learned to fly without an obvious branching system. We've seen other videos where none of the babies were able to get back inside because they could not hover and aim for the doorway. Instead they fell all the way to the ground - and this box was in a tree, but did not have a branch in front of the door. So all the owlets were stuck outside overnight, and when the parents tried to feed them, they inadvertantly knocked the owlets right off the branches, or the food fell to the ground - it was a very sad video.

In this video, the owlet falls to the ground and makes many attempts to get to the top of the box. There is no comment about whether or not he is able to get back into the box for the day. I doubt it. He also missed quite a few meals that were brought to the other owlets on top of the box.

So this is an incomplete story, but the footage is good for the barn owl alliance, and it's good for showing what some owlets do go through. This is a particularly strong group of babies, however, in that they probably fledged late, had plenty of food (obviously if 7 babies were thriving, they had a lot of food available), an were very strong at the outset. This is not always the case, as we've seen with little Wesley at a certain owl box - he was developmentally slow and took longer than usual to catch up to his siblings.

Anyway, here is the video. Take a look.


PS: I need help with something. I have a little store, one that I don't advertise, but if you're on my website you see a button that says, "CP Store", and that's a Cafe Press store. A while back, I noticed that my store had been illegally overrun with Molly the Owl products. When you went to the Wesley the Owl store, you saw Molly t-shirts, Molly everything, with the Wesley items confusingly scattered amongst the Molly things I was very upset, of course, but I didn't turn anyone in (I should have gone straight to the complaint department but I didn't).

What to do? So, I thought, Ok, I"ll tag my stuff with HIS product names like "Molly the Owl" and so on. So now BOTH our stores were polluted w/ each other's stuff. I should have known he was laying another trap. He then removed his stuff from my store and turned ME in for tagging my stuff so it ended up in his store.


Ok, so I went in to take the tags off and put everything back the way it was BUT...the only way to do that is to go to your media basket (where you keep the images used on your products), go to "View", go to "Tags", and undo your tags.

Well GUESS WHAT? ALL MY MEDIA WAS GONE and my basket was empty, so I could not go in and remove the tags!

I wrote to Cafe Press about it and haven't received a response yet.

This is insanity. Of course, they can prove w/ their archives that he contaminated my store first. I just got tired of the constant attacks. I mean, enough already! But instead of getting him in trouble and turning him in, I did it back to him so he'd know how it felt. Not knowing he was probably deliberately entrapping me. For all my media to be gone is insane.

Does anyone know how to remove tags without going through the media basket?

To complicate this matter, Wendy has full control of ALL MY MEDIA! She has all my physical pictures and all digital copies, and is unable to help me with this kind of stuff, now that she has her own book. Yet I also can't get my media from her to restore it. I'm really in a tough spot.

So I'm asking if any of you know how to undo tags on Cafe Press without having to have the original media in the media basket.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
I hope all this attacking and misrepresenting will stop. It makes no sense. It's time to move on for heaven's sake! How can any one person be so jealous and focused on another person who they've never even met? Oh well, I'm not a psychologist.


darien said...

stacey, I just checked your store and I can see all the cards, journals etc. Is this what you meant? I don't see any M stuff at all. did you get it fixed?

Joy W said...

Just another example of why tit-for0tat is never a good idea. Best of luck sorting it all out.

whetstone said...

stacey, i'm a lurker here, but i really think that you should lay off the comments about carlos. it makes you seem paranoid.

my motto is "never attribute to evil intent anything that can be explained by stupidity"

mis-tagging on cafe press definitely falls under this umbrella.

thank you for your work with barn owls and your efforts to improve box design. i admire your passion and know that the owls will benefit greatly.

Eagle Eye said...

This is so wrong on so many levels, soon the 15 minutes of fame will be OVER, but the BOA will still grow and will make a difference.

I am also amazed at the horrible greed that has been exhibited but have been even more amazed at how many people are so easily misled. My faith in humanity has been shook every time I see the ridiculous infomercials with all the antics and pitches while they cater to the whims of their chatters. So it has been a very interesting experience to see just how gullible humans can be on so many levels.

It is a shame that You and your work has been abused so badly now you have to struggle with your merchandise also, that is really bad and I think you need to consult with your attorney over this persons use of your book, the name "Wesley the Owl" since it appears your copy right has been misused via the "tags". You should have some sort of legal right to sue at this time for infringement.

wess_liana said...

Ditto to what EagleEye said.

Charlotte said...

This is about as low as it gets. At least I HOPE so. Stacey I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. Though your original decision to do the same thing back may have not turned out the best in the end, I applaud you for trying first to handle it quietly in that way. You had every right to come in here and raise the roof about it, get us all riled up etc. You didnt. We've all been trying hard to focus on what's ahead of us, and to not get distracted by the disturbing stuff and people who CONTINUE to come here from Mollywood, not to assist, but to disrupt our mission. This takes the cake. I have said this before and to me it has never been more obvious than right now: The behavior we are being witness to is frighteningly similar to all that is most disturbing in a CULT. That was a clearly premeditated, carefully thought out attack. It's one SCARY slice of humanity. You can't reason with that, stacey. None of us can. Let's help you get your store fixed and move on. Let us know how we can help.

Meryt Bast said...

You sound so discouraged, Stacey. Please keep raising awareness so that everyone will learn how to help the owls. *hug*

cissycz said...

Stacey, I looked at your shop and everything looks fine.
It seems to me it would be very easy to mis-tag items.
And not easy for someone else to get into your account and change things around.
Hope this is resolved quickly and you can devote yourself to what you do best - advocate for owls and all wildlife.

CatGirl said...

I also just checked the store and all seemed well. Just lots of Wesley the Owl products.

Dadu said...

I just posted the link to the video over in the BOA group under Branching Behavior. This is a good one to add to the collection.


DJ Sommers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

There is apparently a rumor which seems to have originated on the BOA Yahoo Group that I have stated or implied that I "own" the owl box at Nicassio School. I do not belong to the BOA Group, so I cannot defend myself there. Nor will I join the BOA group, but not because of any disagreement over it's goals or purpose, but out of my concern for the security of personal information in ANY Yahoo Group.

Let me state here then, if I may with your indulgence Stacey, that I do not now, nor have I ever, claimed, meant to imply, inferred, confided, or otherwise indicated in English or any other language that I own the box at the Nicasio School. That box and the UStream site associated with it is now and always has been a project of the Hungry Owl Project and the Nicasio School. Anyone who says otherwise is either misinformed or purposefully lying.

chipmonk said...

Thom...It was me that made that mistake,I'm very sorry.I misunderstood,I thought you were with HOP,Again,i'm truly sorry for this mix-up,this has nothing to do with Stacey,I take full blame.

brdlvr said...


When I go to your shop from your home page, all is fine. However, when I go to Cafe Press and search Wesley the Owl I get your merchandise and all of Molly's merchandise too. Coversely, when I search Molly the Owl, I get ONLY M&M merchandise. Something is definitely amiss. If I knew how to fix it, I would be on it, but I am not well versed in that sort of thing.

brdlvr said...

Hi Stacey,

I just watched the video and felt sorry for that owlet. I believe he was out of the box all day, at least that's what was infered in the video. Maybe if the pole had been covered in astroturf he could have made it to the top. I see many design flaws with that box, one being the overhang of the roof above the entry hole to the box. Even though the owlet made it to the top of the box the next evening, he would have to be pretty skillful to enter the box from the overhang.

Thanks for sharing that with us.

chipmonk said...

Stacey..DJ is right,I too no nothing about fixing this problem.I really think you should contact Cafe Press.Wish I could be of more help.

Peggy said...

I was lurking at M & M this afternoon just to watch the owls. Someone asked about you and the moderator would not answer them so I did and sent a PM to the person who inquired - with a comment to read your blog. Another person said that you had been nasty and threatened to sue. Sigh ... and then tonight I see someone is trying to stir up people on the Salt and Pepper site. HOP is not going to like the pressure these people are putting out there. One needs to know when to stop telling people what to do. One can gently inquire and then work with the administrator but the chat room is not the place for this sort of vitriol - IMHO. I don't read every post here or at Yahoo so if I have overlooked your suggestions, I'm sorry. Please let people know the preferred way to go about seeking changes/improvements to existing boxes. Thanks.

wess_liana said...

Stacey... shouldn't the web server have backups that would contain your missing media items? I would hope they've build in several redundancies in their system. You should be able to have them restore one of their backups to retrieve the missing items. I sure hope that you and Wendy aren't on the outs... that's what it sounded like in your post. Hope all is well for you.

SigridNolen1志正 said...


Victoria B said...

Stacey: I do believe it is a mal-function of dealing with cafe press. When you go there and search for a product by name, there can be product showing up on the same page from MANY different vendors. Contact cafe press and see what can be done.

desertlvr said...

I think an apology to Carlos for accusing him of interfering with your Cafe Press account is in order.

I'm sure it's just a glitch and has nothing at all to do with Carlos deliberately placing Molly items in your shop or somehow blocking your access.

Perhaps you are very tired and this is why you have gone in the direction of a bit of paranoia. It is a shame that your ability to spread the word about proper owlbox use is colored by these kinds of accusations.

I hope you can return to calmly spreading the word. I admire your passion for wildlife of all kinds and owls in particular.

SactoSylvia said...

Stacy -- Carlos's "Molly merchandise" is limited to the stuff on transferit and the (spectacular) photos on a dedicated cafepress store. I suspect the mugs, teeshirts etc. that have been posted in cafepress used his photos without permission, which is why the links are down. Sorry to hear that it also affected your book and products.

SactoSylvia said...

I just figured out how the Molly store on Cafepress works -- and it is a more extensive collection than I realized -- so my earlier post is incorrect. I'm sorry about that. I hope all the problems with your links have been straightened out.

Stacey O'Brien said...

To desertlvr, et. al:
I am describing the sequence of events as they happened. I said that FIRST, the Molly products were labelled with "Wesley the Owl" for quite a long time. THEN I decided not to turn them in, but just to do the same back, and tagged my merchandise w/ Molly. THEN the Molly merchandise went back to normal w/ no Wesley tags. So I tried to remove the Molly tags on my products, thinking that the message had been sent and that we BOTH should keep our own products tagged w/ only our own keywords. It was then that I discovered that I could not remove my tags because the media in the media basket is gone, and for some dumb reason, you have to go through the media basket to go into the page that allows you to remove tags!

That's why I asked for advice.

BELIEVE ME! I HAVE been writing to Cafe Press! I'm trying to get this solved. I might have to unlink my store until I get this thing undone.

I'm learning, too. I'm not used to dealing w/ traps or stealth attacks or with having my name besmirched, or with being mocked for scientific opinions that are well founded. It's all new to me. I have never ventured into the world of chats and had no idea what I was walking into, or what kind of vitriol people were perfectly willing to spread about such a seemingly obscure subject (we biologists tend to think our subjects are obscure and are shocked when we find out that other people are also interested in them! haha).

So please forgive me for my bumbling along trying to figure out how to handle these things as they come up. They come to me as a complete surprise and I fumble to know what to do. I guess I'm more accustomed to working with the most earnest people you'll ever meet - people who work with and care for animals, people who study animals and are willing to even risk their lives to do so (many names come to mind).

In general, these people are so in earnest that you don't find them engaged in undermining each other. You find them encouraging each other and propping each other up. Just look at the other animal authors out there. You can see w/ your own eyes that they all support each other. Look on the backs of their books and you'll see other animal authors (who some people would think of as competition, but animal authors are truly all trying to accomplish the same thing and are very supportive of each other)'ll see the other authors praising the book.. Yes, they are praising their "competition" but if they feel the praise is deserved, they will not withhold it. At all.

Not only that, they will go the extra mile to encourage each other during the tough times of deadlines and anxiety over a new book, and will send each other samples of rough drafts and even help each other.

What a concept, eh?

So this world of hostile chat rooms and people running each other down is new to me. It's a hard thing and I'm just a biologist, not a cut-throat businessman or hardcore corporate beaurocrat who has learned all these lessons about how to be smooth and cunning. I've never been cunning nor smooth, which I guess is good, except when it's not good. haha.

BTW, Wendy and I are NOT on the outs! She is just overwhelmed w her own book, her computer w/ the media on it crashed, and she doesn't have time to deal w/ all that right now, which I understand completely!

Whew! There's always something to clear up, but I think progress has its bumps and ridges and valleys and I'm willing to weather them for the sake of the owlets and the bigger picture.

And I trust that most all of us are.


Stacey O'Brien said...

PS: I also missed almost all of high school, so don't even have that as a referenced point. The one year of high school I went to, I didn't belong to any particular clique, but was friends w people of all kinds, so I didn't experience the clique thing there either. Thank God. It sounds like a lot of people had a rough high school experience. That's sad. There are still a lot of us from school who are all friends, with very very different outlooks and lifestyles from gay liberal to evangelical right winger, to Muslim, to all walks of life. I love it that way. Friendships w/ international students also endure the test of time. I'm not saying life was perfect, but I think we had an unusual group of kids or somethinig. I dunno. Or maybe I missed the icky part later on, eh? who knows. I'll ask at our upcoming reunion if people think we had a pretty wonderful group of kids or if anyone felt there was bullying, or what.
PS: I say this because people on that chat room used to say they felt like they were in high school. Really? This is what your high school was like? YIKES! I say if that's the case, take the GED and go to a community college, then transfer right into a university from there! And skip the entire mess! lol

Anonymous said...

Stacy, I met you one time in the O & 0 Chat and you were charming and I learned so much. I never could really catch you again nor have I read your book yet (but I will) I was reading your blog and saw that you had a few problems. I wish I could help with tags and all that junk but I can't. I just wanted to let you know that you are a pretty special person and that you are meant to teach and help these owls. I know you don't care about the money as some do.. Making tons of money off poor Molly doing all the work, however try not to worry about it and just know that your way of teaching is working and what I learned will stay with me forever. God bless you Stacey. Sandeshells

Puerini said...

Stacy, I just finished reading Wesley the Owl and my heart is full of love for you and Wesley. I then decided to see if you had anything online. Found this site and my mouth is hanging open. You were banned from Mollywood? I know several people who were also banned for crazy and unknown reasons and am very disheartened. I have been castigated in the chat room also for a few things. I just want to see the owlets basically, and I think your input would be SO valuable to Mollywood there would be no question as to how important anything you had to say to about owl behavior would be.

Yes, Mollywood is fast becoming a big business and certainly resembles an infomercial. It is sad. But all I care about is the owlets and their antics and their health. I do interact on the chat room, there are some very sincere and loving people there. As a matter of fact, when Jody died, I was very sickened by everyone in the main chat room not letting us voice our concerns and as Jody was passing, acted like everything was normal. So I PMd another chatter who expressed concerns and was castigated like me. We stayed on, comforting each other and that was so helpful. The moderators (one in particular) have really become so power hungry it is unbelievable.

But enough about that. I will cherish your book and keep you and Wesley in my heart forever.

I pray that everything will work out for you in all of your endeavors. You are an angel and deserve all the best in the world.

I wish I could help you with your problems but they are out of my sphere of knowledge. Please keep your spirit and passion.

Deb in Rhode Island

Puerini said...

Oooooops sorry to have spelled your name wrong in my post. Please forgive!

Deb in Rhode Island