A Family Tale–Owl Style

     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 


2 Responses to “A Family Tale–Owl Style”

  1. Elizabeth Cottrell Says:

    The number of people who have watched this confirms my belief that our connection with Nature is an essential connection that many–especially those who live in more urban areas–have neglected. The ability to connect, even in this indirect way, is meaningful. Aren’t we who live in the country fortunate to do so!

  2. Diane Says:

    I’m looking forward to watching as much as possible.

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