Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Molly Owl LIVE WEBCAM Hatching - Educational & Building Awareness About the Dangers of Using Rodentcides

by Janis Brett Elspas

Hopefully you and your family are enjoying owl hobbyist Carlos Royal's Live Webcam Owl Box that has gone viral on the Internet.  The automatic camera has given kids and parents a 24/7 chance to see Mommy owl who just last week was nesting with 5 owl eggs -- some of which have since hatched -- in an Owl Box in San Marcos, California.  If you haven't seen it already, you'll find the link to The Owl Box Cam at the end of this post.

This blog's regulars know that my kids and I have been watching the events unfold for over a week now and have been reflecting on what we are witnessing.  Molly, the mom owl, has already hatched 2 owlets as of the time/date of this blogpost.  For everyone who has seen it so far, this is proving to be a rare chance to personally experience a mother barn owl up close feeding her young and waiting for her other eggs to hatch.  Several times daily, Mcgee -- the daddy owl -- stops by to bring the new mommy a dead rabbit, gopher, bird, mouse or rat.  Every few hours Molly tears up bite size strips of this fresh meat to feed to her hungry babies by holding it next to their beaks.  Mother has also been surviving on the animals her DH hunts and delivers to her (rats, mice, small rabbits, etc.) the entire time that she has been incubating the eggs in the nest.

All the excitement about this natural owl event that more than 2 million have already viewed via the Internet since the camera started rolling on February 15th has generally brought about a renewed respect for owls and other wild creatures in nature.  Yesterday, one of MommyBlogExpert's readers, Barbara, sent me an email since she had trouble posting a comment directly to an earlier story on this blog.  I thought this was worth sharing since she makes an excellent point.

Says this reader, "The popularity of the owl cam is a wonderful opportunity to educate the public on the dangers of using rodentcides -- which are a major killers of raptors and other predators.  In fact,  owls often die as an indirect result of rat and mouse poison.  This happens because the nocturnal winging bird mainly hunt rodents for food.  If the owl captures a rodent who is still alive but sickened because it ate poison itself, the owl that eats the tainted mouse or rat will likely be poisoned to death.  Other animals including hawks, foxes, and cats will sicken or die after eating a poisoned animal, too.

Her advice is sage, "Please always use 'humane' traps instead of poison," Barbara says,  "or install a barn nest box in your tree because a pair of barn owls will eat over 2000 rodents per year."

MommyBlogExpert couldn't agree more.  Creating habitat for owls not only keeps rodent populations in check, especially in area where people live, it is among the most eco-friendly ways that humankind can ensure the survival of these magnificent raptors.

Enjoy observing this awesome new owl mother by clicking on the arrow below to watch the automated Live Webcam trained on the nest.  The owl(s) are almost always visable with natural light during the day as well as at night, thanks to the night vision lenses on the camera.

FTC Disclosure:  MommyBlogExpert did not receive any payment or other compensation associated with this post.  See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.      


  1. Wow beautiful, thanks for sharing!!

  2. Along with humane traps, electronic traps are also considered more humane than glue traps since they kill mice instantly instead of letting them suffer. Victor makes that Multi-Kill trap that catches 10 mice before it needs to be reset.