It’s Clear No 4th Clutch

August 1, 2011

Molly Close Up by Minasparrot



The more we watch, the more clear it has become that Molly and McGee are taking a break and will not have a second clutch this year. Actually, this is more normal for barn owls, most only have one clutch per year except in places like Southern California where sometimes they have two because of good weather and ample food. This does not mean that the owl box is boring to watch. We have had lots of action and new experiences with both Molly and McGee chasing off other owls and then there is the drama of whose going to be in the box today.

Austin is just finishing up his new movie The World’s Most Famous Barn Owls. The movie is basically finished they are just adding Titles, credits and those kind of things and it should be ready to send off for duplication this week. Provided it fits he is going add to the DVD as bonus material my talk to Mira Costa College’s LIFE group.  You can help him know how many to have duplicated by preordering your copy now.

Minasparrot one of our moderators got this fantastic screen shot of Molly and we wanted to share it. This is one of the best close up shots I have seen.

Enjoy and have a great day


Carlos, Donna and Austin

60 Responses to “It’s Clear No 4th Clutch”

  1. Tresbien Says:

    Thanks for posting minasparrot’s screencap. What a beautiful closeup look at Molly. Great job minas!

    Carlos, every day when I see them in the box, I smile and feel grateful for the continuing opportunity to see them. It really is a new experience watching McGee during the day and the two of them interacting.

  2. Hi CA friends,
    YES, this is an excellent screen shot! I love finally seeing the tips of the feathers coming outward, making the dark stripe around the white face. I never quite understood that feather composition before. Thanks.

  3. debbie Says:

    i cannot wait for the next movie…thank you, austin! carlos, having your talk at the college on the dvd would totally sweeten the presentation. :D

    yes, the owl box is always great. as long as molly and mcgee are on, we mods are watching!! :D thank you again for broadcasting. *hugs*

    minasparrot…kudos on the photo!! stellar shot, absolutely beautiful!!

    now, i am off to watch the sunrise on the owl box, and see who is in the box for the day!! yay!!


  4. Carol Watt Says:

    Even Molly and McGee need a break from offspring. Carlos and Donna you are the greatest. Austin keep up the good work and study hard. What a photo of Molly, WOW.

  5. janie2 Says:

    Molly and McGee are never boring that’s for sure. Just seeing them in the box makes me happy. Molly, the drama queen, gives us a thrill every morning when she zooms into the box. When you have 400 chatters waiting on Molly, you know how much they mean to us.
    I have preordered my movie by Austin and really look forward to it.


  6. NatureLuver Says:

    Beautiful screen shot!

    Thanks Minasparrot and thanks Donna and Carlos for keeping the box on line.

    So looking forward to AUSTIN’s new DVD.

    Deet Deet Deet
    Liz Garney, League City, TX

  7. Teri Friedman Says:

    What a beautiful shot of Molly, worthy of entering into any wildlife photo contest.

  8. Ericka Says:

    What an absolutely gorgeous picture of Molly!
    While I am sad they are not having a fourth clutch. They really do deserve a break, don’t they? :)

  9. Linda Greene Says:

    Carlos, I’m so enjoying watching Molly and McGee interact with each other. Thanks for letting us see all of this!! It brightens up my days of turmoil. ldgreene123

  10. Donna Koski Says:

    I am glad to hear Molly and McGee are still hanging out. I have not been able to watch too much this last month because of family illness but I plan on tuning in again soon. I appreciate your comments so I can keep up with what is going on. I always enjoy watching Molly and McGee and their expressions and movements. So maybe we will have babies next year. Good Luck to Austin and his new DVD.

    Thank you


  11. Sherry Kelly Says:

    When I turn on my computer every morning the first thing I do is check the owl box and when I see both M & M all safe and snug inside I get a very peaceful feeling to begin the day. Thanks for everything, Carlos and Donna. I know this is certainly not convienient for the two of you!

    I was one of the first to order Austin’s movie and appreciate your update. It just keeps sounding more & more exciting! Also thanks for sharing minasparrot’s close up shot of our Molly.

    Heres wishing you, M & M, and all my fellow MODs a great week!

    Sherry Kelly (AKA michaeldunnfan)

  12. Jennifer Taggart Says:

    Minasparrot is my good friend who was kind enough to introduce me to this wonderful experience of Molly & McGee! She is truely a MOD if their ever was one! Carlos, Donna & Austin many thanks for introducing the world to such a beautiful wildlife experience you have blessed many lives. Mina what a beautiful shot I’m humbled that I was there when you caught it!!

  13. Absolutely outstanding shot of our girl. I will be purchasing Austin’s much anticipated work. Thank you Carlos!

  14. K8Orlando Says:

    What a perfect shot of our Molly! She’s got that sweet but impish smile I love to see.

  15. Austin is such a smart kid and I know he will go very far with his works. This is a great shot of Molly. We are still waiting for a couple of barn owls to make a home in the owl box we have put up for them. Our home is in the middle of the woods so there are so many other places for them. We have a lot of hoot owls and great barn owls in our area but we are still hopeful.

  16. Lee Says:

    Yes! absolutely, a beautiful close-up of Molly..It’s like she’s right there ‘in your face’. Thanks for sharing…ALL Carlos.

  17. maxi23 Says:

    Hello Donna and Carlos.

    Thanks for sharing the great close-up photo taken by Minasparrot of Molly. I enjoy viewing Molly and McGee in the box and the drama that unfolds. It’s fun continuing to learn more about Molly & McGee’s behavior during different stages of their life and seasons of the year.


  18. susanralph Says:

    I agree, this is the most beautiful close up of the diva. Thank you to Minasparrot, Carlos and Donna. The OwlBox of Mollywood never disappoints.

  19. Lisa A. Burns Says:

    This has been so wonderful! Morning, at work, and in the evenings! Just LOVE it Carlos, Donna, and Austin. Thank you so much!!!!!

  20. smy_131 Says:

    Great screen shot.

  21. Dottie Cobb Kissell Says:

    What a beautiful snap of Molly ! ;) Thank you Carlos for sharing !!! ;) <3

  22. Jackie Says:

    What a great close-up of Miss Molly. Good job!

  23. Kit Merritt Says:

    Pic is beautiful! Molly looks pensive, one of the nicest wildlife pics I have ever seen. Molly and McGee deserve a break. They have done a wonderful job parenting 10 owlets in one year.

  24. CAequuslvr Says:

    Thanks to the HD camera and Minasparrot’s screenshot we have a truly beautiful picture of our Molly.
    M&M and the community around them continue to educate and delight.
    Thanks once again to all for this experience.

  25. flukestail Says:

    I will still keep my fingers crossed for a 4th clutch. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…”

    This photo of Molly is fantastic! Minasparrot must have had her finger right above the screen capture button to get this. :)

    So glad to hear the bonus material on the video will be Carlos’ talk.

    As always…many thanks!

  26. flukestail Says:

    I will still keep my fingers crossed for a 4th clutch. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…”

    This photo of Molly is fantastic! Minasparrot must have had her finger right above the screen capture button to get this. :)

    So glad to hear the bonus material on the video will be Carlos’ talk.

    As always…many thanks!

  27. flukestail Says:

    (to parody the woodchuck riddle)

    How much gopher could a barn owl go for if a barn owl could go for a gopher?

    Say that fast 3 times. ;)

  28. Bonnibell Says:

    Yep, loving checking in on them in the morn and observing in the evening. Great screenshot is right!!! What a true beauty our Molly is!!!! Bonnibell

  29. Donna Says:

    Beautiful pic! The owl box could never be boring, love watching M&M and hearing your voice Carlos. Thanks again to all of you!

  30. Joan Marchiori Says:

    Dear Carlos,, it has been so much fun to see Molly and McGee just enjoying each other and their home.. they are very precious..their behaqvior is so different from anything else that we have been privileged to observe.. Thanks to you.. Joan from Colorado

  31. Phyllis Says:

    I just love looking in and seeing what Molly and McGee are doing. Owlets are fun to watch but I just like watching them.

  32. Karen Robinson Says:

    Dear Carlos,
    You and your family have made it possible for so many humans to learn about and appreciate another species. These barn owls have shown how families care for each other, teach their young how to take care of themselves. The educational materials are great. Shows circle of life and how nature takes care of things. Hope people will learn not to use things like d-con, etc. Thank you so much.

  33. SARose69 Says:

    I so enjoy sharing my daytime hours with M, M, or M&M in the box. Thank you so much for sharing them with us. It may not be as dramatic as eggs and baby owlets but it is very sweet and I appreciate every moment with them.
    I’ve got my pre-order in and can hardly wait!

  34. Rita in DC Says:

    Outstanding screenshot, Minas! Thanks, and thank you, Carlos!

    Words of the Day so far (in alphabetical order):

    allopreening, asymmetrical, barbule, calamus, condyle, diurnal, filoplume, gular (fluttering), nocturnal, papillae (the singular is papilla), pecten, rectrices (the singular is rectrix), remiges (the singular is remex), rictal (bristles), Tyto alba, and zygodactyl

    –Rita in DC, AKA bluenoter in Chat

  35. June Schafer Says:

    Beautiful shot of Molly Girl! They do deserve a break. Just think, 10 kids in a year! WOW!! They are still fun to watch—-just acting like an old married couple.

  36. minasparrot Says:

    Even though we don’t have a 4th clutch (yet) I’m really enjoying the different things that we are learning about M&M’s behavior. It will enlighten us even more as to why they do what they do when they have their next clutch. It’s also awesome to see how much they truly are bonded. Love “the word of the day” thing that you’ve started Donna and Carlos! This is a fun way to learn! Everybody keep watching! M&M haven’t disappointed us yet for entertainment! Luv you gutz!

  37. minasparrot Says:

    And you all are right! I was totally hovering over the print screen button and just got lucky! Thanks for the comments!

  38. Virgene Colby-auntie_vee Says:

    It is a great shot of Molly. I, too, really enjoy those two devoted owls enteracting with each other. It really has opened another educational avenue. They seem to be the only owls that are keeping close watch over their home(owlbox)all the other boxes except the ones raising owlets are empty.

    Appreciate your blogs, Carlos. It really keeps us up to date. Thank you.

  39. I’m glad to hear they are taking a break. We think reproduction is directly related to food available. We have lost our Barn Owls here in Missouri. So we have a “hacking” program at WBS to attempt to repopulate Missouri with Barn Owl. WBS uses injured Barn Owls in captivity at WBS. They are secluded in large cages at WBS. WBS supplies unlimited prey to the male who feeds the female and they can have three healthy clutches in a season. The parent having been wild owls at one time teach their young what the need to know. A few days before the chicks would be due to fledge, they are placed in acceptable/approved barns in and around Missouri’s rural areas. The chick are still fed in the barns. Then a “soft release” is done. This is when their enclosed ares is opened so they can go out and come in. They are still fed. After a week or so of this they are feed less and less and miraculously they start hunting and they do well. The few banded Barn Owls that have been found dead have all been in excellent health and well fed. They are usually found by the side of the road where they were hit or ran into a car while hunting. So far WBS has placed over 800 barn owl chicks back into Missouri. So availability of food is a key in the number of clutches per season.

  40. Phyllis Benson Says:

    Beautiful shot of Molly!! It is a real treat to be able to watch both Molly and McGee in the owlbox. I remember during the first clutch sitting up late (East Coast) waiting for a glimpse of Leggs McGee as he came into the owlbox. I just pre-ordered Austin’s new DVD and am anxiously awaiting its arrival. Thanks Carlos, Donna and Austin!

  41. Evi Adams Says:

    Just a beautiful shot of our dear little bird that brought so many of us together as a cyber family. Thanks for posting this! I agree that it’s really interesting to watch these two interact on a daily basis. While a clutch is exciting, it’s nice to watch them be a couple!!! It teaches us a LOT! :D Evi/ Danbury, CT

  42. Lemayrenee – Thanks so very much for this detailed report of the reintroduction program in Missouri! This is fabulous. It is good to know that some organization/biologists are dedicated enough to do this work. We don’t want to lose barn owls! And the Midwest is short on them as I understand. I am closely related to the Intl Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wis, which works hard to reintroduce whooping cranes in U.S. Also other types of cranes – around the world – so I am aware of the delicate and detailed and dedicated work it takes. Thanks for sharing this.

  43. Mary Says:

    Minas did an outstanding job. My screenie is okay, but nowhere near as good. I have Austin’s first video and preordered the movie. Barbara’s new song really sealed the deal, and I get to see the third clutch! People have been very impressed with my M & M family note cards. Carlos, would you consider releasing some other shots for a variety of cards? Also, you have a flair for captions, which would be even more fun.

  44. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly & McGee
    Second Clutch

    August 2, 2010 – New Moon Coming

  45. Good point Peg. Seems logical. I can’t see where anyone can say “no 4th clutch”. Am I mistaken, but there were 2 clutches in the first calendar year; and just one in this calendar year; still 5 months to go in 2011! I will be surprised if there is not another one in 2011.

  46. Margery M Says:

    I just love this gorgeous shot of our Molly!
    I agree that I’m having a blast watching the comings and goings of this great owl couple!
    They certainly deserve a break!

  47. Judy Sackson Says:

    What a wonderful pic of Molly! She really is beautiful! Good job, Minas!
    I love to check in on M&M every morning and see them together and loving, like an old married couple. It is almost as good as a 4th clutch…
    Hope to order my video soon, the first one was so great…I can’t wait to see what Austin has done this time. I hope he can put the lecture on, it would be great to have it!
    Thanks again, Carlos and Donna for everything!

  48. Tammie Franklin Says:

    Hi Carlos…. When you are talking and “reading” the chat – where are you? I am on the U-Stream/ Social Stream…
    let me know, please.

    Thank you, Tammie


  49. PegRod Says:

    Minasparrot – What a delight to study this precious photo of Molly’s face, feathers, beak, and expression. Thank you so much for sharing this incredible moment in time with us.

    The “glint” in Molly’s eye (the light from the door opening) reminded me of the rare recording of September 26, 2010 – Carlos Waves To The World Owl Box Door – Carlos was inspired to show us what the owls saw when they look out the door and see him and was amazingly successful at achieving it!

    As far as “It’s Clear No 4th Clutch” I would add the qualifying words of “Yet” or “Imminently” since we have all learned to observe and wait and see what happens!

    Faithful Fans Forcasting Fantabulous Fourth Clutch with Fortuitous Fengshui – at some unknown time in the Future – time we hope that Donna and Carlos name them, since that is such a joy for MODs worldwide.

    I agree with everyone’s comments and thank the Royals for broadcasting this unique view of the “Staycation” of Molly and McGee. I too remember the days when we waited anxiously for a fleeting glance of Leggs McGee or a Fling and Fly. What a handsome and loving owl we have come to know at this stage in his development.

  50. Lisa Says:

    Just curious….what happened to the chat site?

  51. flukestail Says:

    I’ve never seen that “Carlos Waves to the World” video. What a hoot! Who’s is in the box? Was that during the 3rd clutch?

    • PegRod Says:

      Flukestail – This video is from September 26, 2010, so that was Ashely or Carrie from the Second Clutch of Molly & McGee looking out the door. I’m not sure if the second person is Donna or if Carlos put on darker clothes so we could see him better.

      Second Clutch
      Date Laid ________ Hatch Date______Name
      Egg 1 7/06/10 ____ 8/07/10 _______ Ashley
      Egg 2 7/08/10 ____ 8/08/10 _______ Carrie
      Egg 3 7/11/10 ____ 8/11/10 _______ Kelly 8/17/10 deceased
      Egg 4 7/14/10 ____ 8/14/10________ Jody 8/21/10 deceased

      I remember that during this time, Carlos was experimenting a little with the camera lense located on the opposite side of the box, since the regular “Lenz” had been covered with piles of gagshag and Glowz’s webz.

      Perhaps Carlos could comment ((smile)).

  52. joly2u Says:

    This screen cap brings tears it is so beautiful, thanks minasparrot. Thanks for continuing the coverage, Carlos. Although I’m on much less time when there are no little ‘uns, it still means so much. Their taking a break should make things a little easier for you and yours, too, and hopefully early next year we’ll be eyes aglued again!

  53. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly & McGee
    Second Clutch

    August 3, 2010 – The Owl Box Red Sky

    This time last year, Austin’s first DVD was in the midst of both production and shipping to customers! The beautiful photograph in this blog entry is one that Donna Royal took, showing a colorful San Marcos August sunset. Donna is also a talented photographer and artist! Thank you Donna and Carlos Royal!

    August days in San Marcos, CA are getting shorter, and sunrise today was at 6:03 am; sunset will be at 7:45 pm, although the post-sunset darkness that the barn owls await arrives somewhat later. If a pattern continues, Molly & McGee will return to The Owl Box post sunset! Today must have been a good day to go to the spa at the Palmz Hotel (cooler breezes, mid-week discounts and less crowded).

  54. zestylemonlime Says:

    nice capture!

  55. mandozee Says:

    Hay Carlos, thanks for keeping the cams up for us. it’s fun to check in and watch for a bit, even without babies. mandozee1888

  56. Donna Koski Says:

    I agree with mandozee I try and watch throughout the day when I can. I always enjoy Molly and Mcgee. Thank you Carlos

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