¬†¬†¬†¬† I thank my friend Sara-Jane for letting me know about this opportunity to watch real-life barn owl parents hatch and care for their¬†babies.¬† And I even got¬†to watch as one of the¬†little owlets took its first flight from home!
¬†¬†¬†¬† Apparently, millions of people all over the world have been watching the show for months.¬† A San Diego couple¬†set up an owl¬†house atop a 15-foot pole in their yard.¬† The couple installed an infrared videocamera inside the owls’ home, and people have been tuning in to the¬†streaming video¬†since the female owl laid four eggs inside the owl house last February.¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† By late March the eggs began to hatch, and viewership swelled.¬† Classrooms of schoolchildren, insomniacs, nature lovers, and cuious people in many countries tuned in to watch the family of parents and babies.¬† Viewers (some in online communities of¬† self-proclaimed ‘owlcoholics’) tuned in to see all four eggs hatch, and to see the parents feed and care for the babies.
¬†¬†¬†¬† In the last few days, the young owls have started to fledge.¬† And it’s all recorded on camera.¬†¬†If you are patient enough¬†to¬†watch a two-hour video, you will be able to see the parents perched outside the owl house, trying to entice their children to come out and give flying a try.¬† Just click on the link at the bottom of this entry, you will be taken to the¬†website of the San Diego Union Tribune.¬† There you can tune in and watch what’s happening at this very moment in and around the¬†owls’ home.¬† Or you can click on the aforementioned video of the parents urging their babies to¬†come out and try their wings.¬†¬†¬†¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† I am fascinated by the whole thing.¬†¬†It seems¬†a wonderful use of technology to enable us ‘regular’ folks to observe the natural world far more closely than ;people¬†have ever been able to do before.¬† Anyone who wants to can¬†watch–up close and personal–birds engaging in the processes of launching the next generation.¬† And all without disturbing the birds in the slightest, it seems.¬†¬†
¬†¬†¬†¬† And I am touched that millions of people¬†find the owls’ saga¬†interesting enough to spend time watching the little barn owl family.¬† People had been blogging, twittering, and writing on Facebook, eagerly awaiting the night when the baby owls would leave the nest for the first time.¬† It pleases me that¬†birds’ normal life cycle activities have evoked so much excitement, such sustainead interest.
¬†¬†¬†¬† I’m reminded of “The Truman Show,” minus all of the creepiness.–April Moore¬†