Will They Return?

May 15, 2011

Fourth of The Third


Backyard Iris

I have a feeling they are coming back, even though I know today is day 86. I just think that this clutch is different or at least they seem to be to me. Clutches one and two never used our backyard the way these owlets have. To me it looks like this bunch could be around for a while yet…They are just having too much fun.  Tune in around eight PST tonight and we will see.

I got a call this morning from Frank, a person that lives not too far from me and he said he now has a couple of owls in his owl box. Where it took us 2 years to get an owl, it has taken him on 3 months. Like I told him, there is a good chance that one of his owls is from Molly and McGee’s first clutch because they would be ready for nesting about now.

We will be watching tonight.

Carlos, Donna and Austin

79 Responses to “Will They Return?”

  1. Sally aka MollyLoverForever Says:

    Carlos – I’m beginning to think of you as the “great-grandfather” of barn owls in Southern California! What a great honor! What a wonderful thing you have done! As always, I am forever grateful! <3

  2. Jo-Ann Says:

    I agree.. this clutch is so much different from the other two… Even though we haven’t watched them nearly as much, they are just as precious as the other two clutches… Of course we will never know if the owls in Franks owl box are one of ours….It is so hard to tell them apart.. They are all beautiful. And thank you for always sharing your stories, pictures and life…

  3. Vee Miller (VeeTX) Says:

    Somehow I wonder if the money raised for Wildlife Preservation through Molly & McGee, and the look inside their private lives didn’t contribute to many more people setting up Owl Boxes. Carlos, you pioneered this watching of owls and now it has gone viral. Look at how many owls and owl boxes are broadcast over the internet today.

    Is Frank going to broadcast his owls? Because of his proximity to you and Donna, one of those owls COULD be from Clutch #1. This is so exciting.

    Thank you for opening a whole new world of owls and other wildlife that many of us would not be aware of, much less be able to watch in their habitat (be it an owl box or a palm tree).

    Best Regards to y’all.

  4. Joan from Colorado Says:

    Dear Carlos, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your new improvements. with your camera that lets us see the owls in color at night .. it’s so much prettier and also you recent efforts to make it so the videos don’t freeze up like they used to.. I can keep the owls on screen for a long time now. Looking forward to the next Royal family.. it’s been fun once again.. thank you always, Joan from Colorado

  5. sunshine97 (Deb) Says:

    I sure would love to see them again tonight Carlos:-)

    Your blue bird pic is so beautiful, TY

  6. finnwv Says:

    So happy to hear others are putting up owl boxes for all these wonderful owls! Thanks again Carlos, Donna, and Austin for starting all of this! Love watching this Third Clutch enjoy your yard the way they do! It is very obvious they are loving it and so are we all! Hearts and hugs to you for all you do and have done! Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. 1SkatrPie Says:

    ooooH, Carlos, will Frank have a camera? You are
    “The Godfather” of owlboxWatching and mentoring
    those “in the hood” I’m pretty sure, but until now
    we haven’t had a definite I.D. on the owlets from
    C1, so Frank needZ a camera so we can be GrandMODS.
    Personally, I think the owlets are sticking around
    because they feel deprived of their entire lives having been broadcast courtesy of KOWL and are now
    determined to make up for that! (e.i. you and Donna daring to “have a life and go on vacation”
    and they’re all “not on OUR CLUTCH! OH NO THEY

  8. mandozee Says:

    They sure seem to be having a blast. thanks for leting us peek on them Carlos

  9. Sarah (spaynneuter) Says:

    Carlos, if you saw the owl pair in Frank’s yard, would you be able to tell if one of them was from the first clutch? (No offense, everybody, but even tho I love them dearly, all these barn owls look the same to me. )

  10. MoonDrops Says:

    Carlos, I so appreciate your efforts in pioneering awareness to the barn owl. Yes, it did take two years for an owl pair to discover the “palace” in your backyard to call home. Now, they’ve populated the area with 10, the first 4 ready for nesting, so I would think any vacant owl box would have “tenants” rapidly.
    I also appreciate learning about the kestrels as I live in the upper tier of the Midwest and they don’t. Neither does the bluebird which is so gorgeous…similar to the robin or oriole other than coloration.
    The iris is stunning! Thank you for a peek at the lovely gardens adorning your backyard.
    And yes, I think “romper room in the Royals’ backyard” will continue a bit yet…you see, they too know the saying “Gee, this is fun and I want to be a part of it”!

  11. I totally agree Carlos on your thoughts.
    I feel that the owlets are having too much fun and will be around for some time yet or until Molly and McGee want to take over their box again to start a new clutch #4. Like I said once before, the third clutch kidz are hamming it up and I think they know we are watching them. They love the attention. Who wouldn’t want to stick around and live in such a beautiful garden apartment with all the great views and fun things to do? LOL

    From the bottom of my heart, a big thank goes out to you and Donna for sharing this all with us. We love our Molly and her family.

    Sending love from Colorado!

    • Oh, and one more thing, I firmly believe that Frank’s Owl box has been taken over by one one of Molly and McGee’s first clutch.
      Hopefully it wasn’t Molly and McGee taking it over because they are tired of waiting to reclaim your owl box.
      It is great that there are more boxes being put up as long as they are not too close to one another and the food source is abundant.

  12. kit Says:

    Beautiful pics! That would be neat if one of Molly’s girls or boys are nesting at your neighbors!

  13. Janie Says:

    My schedule is now revolving around the owlets (again lol) I’ve got to get the flock fed and watered–lights out for them–snacks lined up for me and then I’m ready for the Royal Owlet Show! Thank you Carlos, Donna, and Austin!!


  14. Lynne Morrow Says:


  15. Mariska23 Says:

    Thanks for saying that Carlos! You have now ignited my imagination(again!) and I will now believe Frank has one of Molly and McGees first babies all grown up in his box. Now, the fun starts as I will decide which one it is and all the details. Gee this will be fun! I hope Frank keeps you posted and you pass it along to us!

  16. Sharon Says:

    I’ve been away for a while.
    Does Carlos have a camera on at night?
    If so, can someone send the URL please?

  17. VSue Says:

    I watched this morning at 5:20 am I think it was when an owl flew from one of the ledges/posts and I had this feeling that as he (or she) kept looking to that owlbox that he (or she) would be back.

    Me thinks there will be some visits tonight and in the nights ahead.

    Thanks for sharing the moments with us all; so precious each moment is; such joy it brings and the friendships made would not have been possible without you and your dedication Carlos, Donna, Austin, and owlryone…<3 to y'owl

  18. SARose69 Says:

    By the way they acted last night, I’m betting they’ll be back. I will miss them so when the finally go! I am treasuring every moment of their stay!

  19. Jane Duckett Says:

    You must trot over to Frank’s place and see if it is my Max or my Wesley. What a thrill that would be!I thought I saw McGee bring in food last night.

  20. NatureLuver Says:

    Woo Hoo this is FUN!!!

    WOW, that fourth owlet picture is just gorgeous…she is a beauty. So is the Bluebird. Wish I could take pictures like that.

    Carlos can you tell us a little about the outside camera setup? It is making night time owl watching so much fun.

    I’ll be watching tonight ;) Deet Deet Deet!

    Liz G., League City

    • John B. Says:

      Yes, Carlos, please tell us a bit about that outside low-light camera–brand, model, how much light do you have shining on the owl box to give us this show? I’ve found I can’t trust the advertised spec’s on many cameras so it would be good to know one I’ve seen work. Thanks & thanks for the fun show.

  21. Ruth O'Neil Says:


    but there’s no chat open.

  22. Lee Says:

    Y’all won’t believe this. A barnowl and a cat playing! Carlos, do you have a cat for these babies to learn to play with? :D

    • ldgreene123 Says:

      Lee awesome video..thanks

    • VSue Says:

      Is this a rescue owl at a sanctuary (I HOPE) since I thought to have a “pet” owl as such was illegal?

      Are “jesses” the things attached to the poor owls legs?

      • BugGirl Says:

        The owl and cat video is from a foreign country, where the laws are very likely different.

        Kathy (BugGirl)

      • joly2u Says:

        This owl is obviously loved and cared for, happy and healthy. Jesses for captive owls are a protection. The owl may be non-releasable because it imprinted on humans as a baby, perhaps not this owner’s fault. If it got away, which it seems to have no inclination to do, it might not fare well. It would not have been taught to hunt, might fly to an unfriendly human or unfriendly animal, etc.

    • Betty Mitchell Says:

      Great video! This barn owl is flying about in the daylight unlike the ones we are used to. I thought they slept under cover during the day.

  23. Nanci Norin Says:

    I can’t resist tuning into *The Owl Box* each night now to watch! My undying gratitude to you for keeping us informed and continuing to broadcast our beloved Molly and McGee’s family. You are spoken of with such fondness and the memories you provided us with, are everlasting. Thank you, Carlos, Donna and Austin for bringing these wonderful owls to the world’s attention.


  24. GeniaKnitz Says:

    Oh, I HOPE your friend Frank’s owl box is home to Max, Patti, Austin, or Wesley and his or her mate!

    Wouldn’t that be just perfect?

    Thank you for keeping us up to date, dear Carlos.

  25. GeniaKnitz Says:

    P.S. What kind of iris is that? I’ve never seen a double one like that and I love it. Would like to put a few in our backyard.

    Thank you.

  26. Melanie Says:

    This is so exciting. Bet your neighbor has offspring of Molly & McGee’s too!

    Thanks for keeping in touch with us, Carlos/Donna!

  27. VSue Says:

    Hey, looked and it is 9:15 pm and is that an owl in the box I see?

    What a wonderful surprise….

  28. donna Says:

    We have a sleepy owlet in the owl box tonight, not ready to leave home yet I guess. Thank you again Carlos!

  29. Janie Says:

    I miss Carlos’ narration. Second owlet tried to go in the box and the one inside ran it off. What happened, Carlos??


    • VSue Says:

      Janie and donna
      Isn’t this fun?
      And we are all a part of it!
      The antics, fun flying and screeching…Oh how I love them sounds!

  30. VSue Says:

    And yes I too miss Carlos’ narration!

  31. VSue Says:

    Okay, let us all narrate this.

    One in the box says,
    “I want to stay here where it is warm and comfy and I just don’t want to leave yet.”

    The other owl says,
    “But, we grew up together in there, why can’t we share?”

    now, you all continue to story…:)

  32. VSue Says:

    Two owlets screeching on the porch
    Asking for their Mommy Molly and Daddy McGee
    “Come Feed us please we are not ready just yet to go out on our own, come feed us please bring the Ratoni Food Home!”

  33. Janie Says:

    Lets just stay on the porch till they come with a treat.


  34. VSue Says:

    I can hear their thoughts as they screech screech and screech…

    One owl screeches to the other owl..

    Hey, you think if we screech at the same time they will hear us better?”
    The other owl replies,
    “Why yes I do. So now on three, let us screech together…”..

    Ratoni big treat wow!

  35. VSue Says:

    Other owl screeches to the other that got the big ratoni passoff,
    “Well, now you got the big ratoni treat can you share? I think I was louder than you after all…”

  36. VSue Says:

    Now the owl that got the Ratoni Treat is in the box…keeps looking over shoulder with the look that says,
    “Hmm…should I share a little? Hmmm…yummy Ratoni Treat but maybe I will save the feets and tail perhaps”…nom nom nom…

  37. Janie Says:

    Food fight?

  38. VSue Says:

    The owl turns head one way, then the other, in hopes of catching a glimpse of leftover Ratoni in which to nibble that the other owl took away.
    Sharing is just not an owlconcept!

  39. Janie Says:

    Carlos could have left a hork or two for us to munch on.


  40. Trisha Says:

    Wow! How cool San Marcos could now be dubbed “San Owlos”

  41. Cynthia Bradley (bradleytwins) Says:

    I think you should put up a couple more owl boxes…It could be the “family cowlmpound”….

  42. joly2u Says:

    Aaaaaa–jumping up and down in excitement. I want to see a pic of Frank’s owls, hoping to recognize one of Molly’s!

  43. Shirley Charlton Says:

    Just read your blog, Carlos. That is so neat to hear that your neighbor, Frank, has owls in his box and they may be Molly and McGees clutch.

  44. joly2u Says:

    2:15 am PDT, and so far a little more home-owl-lone than usual. Owlie indoors quite a bit, but then if like up in No. CA, the weather has been wild. i thought I heard thunder? A half hour or so ago, some disturbing sounds, like a cat being attacked? Prolonged sound like cat in trouble, dog barking. Owlie just kept calling all through it.

  45. Once again, amazing photos, Carlos! Love the little bluebird. It’s 4:30 am here in Midwest, and I see the lone owl still at home, but no other activity right now. I’m thinking that your southern CA area might be getting well populated with barn owls, and thus the tendency to fill boxes quickly (recorded a couple places now), and the tendency to stay in the box area after fledging. Ya think? Wow, that video of the cat and owl that Lee sent is most unusual. This dialogue is most helpful. In future, Carlos, if you still have interest, how about a verbal/visual “show” 3 times a week or such? Maybe the M-W-F Show.

  46. joly2u Says:

    3:25 am, 3 back now, youngest still prefering inside.May still be eating a treat brought awhile ago.

  47. Eileen "Teatime" Says:

    Beautiful pictures. Thank you for updates.

  48. Joyce Hebert Says:

    i did watch and laughed when i came on late and one was in the box…these are different…thanks

  49. mandozee Says:

    Hi: Don’t you think that a owl born and raised in a owlbox might tend to pick a box to raise their family in? Something to think about. mandozee

  50. Lisa Sharp Says:

    Frank probably has owls from one of the first two clutches! :)

  51. Carol Watt Says:

    Carlos please explain what all the gadgets are in the last photo, thank you.

  52. Helen Starkey Says:

    Love the bluebird and gorgeous iris. Beautiful pictures, enjoy you sharing them with us. Maybe you cleaned the owl box out too soon! Now the owlets want to keep house there!

  53. Lisa A. Burns Says:

    Tuned in early this am and saw owls…so wonderful! Love your photos Carlos. The blue bird is gorgeous. Never tire of watching your backyard…it’s so full of life!
    Thank you!!

  54. Diane Says:

    How exciting to think that one of the first clutch is beginning it’s own family!!! Thanks for keeping us so informed. Love it all! I check in almost every night for the activities in your yard!

  55. Laurel Burden Says:

    Could your neighbor get a picture of the two owls? Wouldn’t it be funny if we could actually recognize one of the four. Not likely, but a chance!

    This clutch has been great! Making of for late introduction.

    Thank you for everything you do.

  56. Deb in Ma. Says:

    Carlos…Is Tauntz still around? Just curious…Love watching the Royal owls!

  57. didinp Says:


    Enjoyed the blue bird – thanks for posting the other birdies that visit you :)

    . . . . as Arnold would say “they’ll be back!!”

  58. erindort Says:

    I always enjoy reading your blog; I especially enjoy the privilage of tuning into the owl box each night (as my schedule permits) to relax with the owls and owlets. I haven’t expressed my thanks in a while, but truly, from the bottom of my heart……….
    Thank you, Carlos and Donna.


  59. Treva Roberts Says:

    Isn’t this great the way your little owl box has contributed to the lives of all bird watchers in general. Not to mention the growing community of owls not only in California but world wide. Your right there was a bit of magic with Molly & McGee.

  60. flukestail Says:

    Oh! Could we all be grandMODS? ;)

  61. Liela M. Maielua Says:

    How awsome that would be if it were two of the owlets from the first clutch that are nesting in your neighbors box. I’m sure your hunch is most likely correct since there were no owls in the immediate area prior to M&M, look what you have started kudos to you & Donna.

  62. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane

    May 15, 2010 – Mom’s Late

    What a difference a year makes!

  63. PegRod Says:

    That last photograph of the Outside WebCam is so interesting in composition and color. It almost looks like a robot with a Series of Three Eyes surveying the world outside The Owl Box of Molly & McGee and the Series of Four owlets of Clutch Three.

    What beautiful blue skies, too!

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