Tribute to McGee and the Fourth Clutch

March 12, 2012

Click the image above to view the commemorative print.

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we are reporting that we have not seen McGee since March 9th, the day DeeDee hatched. We think he is gone. Last night, since McGee had not returned, Molly made the decision to go hunt for food, leaving DeeDee and the three remaining eggs to fend for themselves. We were expecting the second egg to hatch anytime, in fact we thought we could hear peeping. Molly returned with a small mouse after about 45 minutes. All appeared well as Molly snuggled down on the eggs and began to feed DeeDee. We turned in for the night.

When we got up this morning the second egg was over in the corner away from DeeDee and the remaining eggs. Molly was not in the box. We could detect no movement in DeeDee as she lay on top of the two remaining eggs. It appeared that DeeDee and the two remaining eggs had gone cold while Molly went searching for more food.

When Molly returned with food she quickly placed the gopher in the pantry and checked on DeeDee. DeeDee showed no signs of life, so Molly gently lifted DeeDee and placed her away from the eggs. It was a very moving moment. She then lightly touched the eggs with the palm of her claw searching for the warmth of life. We could tell there was none as she rolled the eggs over and over continually touching them, not wanting to give up.

Tears came to our eyes as we realized that Molly is the only survivor of the fourth clutch. Happiness and sorrow are part of the Cycle of Life. The Way of the Owls tells us each day is precious. It also gives us the statistic that barn owls in the wild only live, on average, about two years and their young often don’t survive. Sadly, we have seen this statistic proven true many times this year with the Starr Ranch male, the Rancho Bernardino male and now McGee and the fourth clutch.

Donna and I will always remember McGee; what a magnificent barn owl he was. We have his photo in our living room with all our other family photos.

Please share you comments and feelings below. What has happened also makes us realize just how magical the first clutch was.

Carlos, Donna and Austin

P.S. After the sadness but before darkness had gone away, Donna and I walked outside. When we looked up there were two owls in the sky circling the owl box. We think they must have known. More than likely they were owlets from the previous clutches…or at least we like to think so.

692 Responses to “Tribute to McGee and the Fourth Clutch”

  1. Cat Says:

    Oh no!! I am so sorry!! We knew this day would eventually come when one would pass, but it makes the sadness no easier to bear. :(

    • Carolynn Says:

      I am so sad to hear about McGee and the little owlets from the fourth clutch. My heart is broken for the Royal family, who gave us Molly and McGee to know and to love; and for Molly whom I sure right now is wondering what is on the horizon for her; and for all of us who have watched the saga of the barn owls in the owl box in the Royals’ back yard. May we all take with us and keep the beauty, excitement, and wonder of all that Molly and McGee and their clutches taught us. Rest in peace McGee and the fourth clutch.

  2. Karen B. Says:

    What a sad event in the Royal Owl Box. McGee was a stunning speciman of an owl. I hope Molly finds a new mate and continues to use the owl box for future clutches.

  3. Susan Says:

    oh dear friends. I’m sitting 3000 miles away – in my apartment in New York City and my heart is broken. I know that we were so very lucky to have shared in Molly & McGee’s journey – I learned so much and they brought so much joy into my life.

    My heart breaks for the loss of McGee and the loss of this fourth clutch. I hope Molly finds a new mate and is able to live a long life.

    I am keeping you in my thoughts. Always. Susan

  4. Healani Says:

    Oh God, I wish I didn’t see this. Really made me sad. Gosh this is sooooooooooooooo sad. :-( And the story of Molly w/dee dee was so touching. I would have been crying my eyes out if I was watching thats for sure!!!!!
    I’m Bummed

    • Lisa Says:

      I feel the same….so sad :-( I hope some of the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd clutch return and take over the owl box in memory of McGee.

    • VSue Says:


      Me too, very very sad.
      I am so very grateful for the time we got to share with Leggz McGee for sure…and I do know he is free flying in the spirit…right within the Rainbow Bridge…
      which reminds to look that up it is a good one.

      • Linda Hendrickson Says:

        I’ll always remember this owl family with love and respect. They are all so special and filled a huge space in my heart. Fly with the angels, McGee, and take care of your last clutch. <3<3

  5. Michaela Says:

    I am in great Mourning, how I loved those Owls.
    Thank you so much for sharing Molly and McGee with us all.
    You will be greatly missed McGee, you taught us all so much.

  6. pepper Says:

    Words cannot express the sadness I’m feeling right now after reading our post. Maybe I can leave more when the tears stop flowing so hard. I’m so sorry for your loss, for everyone’s loss of these owls. Poor Molly. We will miss McGee tremendously.

  7. Betty Says:

    wow that is so sad I love Mcgee he was so beautiful…and now poor molly left all alone she will be ok …I follow them in 2010 when I was going thru my treatments for Breast cancer they brought a smile to my face…they make me happy…and enjoy when carlos came on he alway make me laugh love it…prayers for Mcgee and Molly Hugs Betty

  8. Lisa D Says:

    What sad news. I am so sorry for you and Donna to have to witness such a heartbreaking scene. We forget sometimes that these are wild animals as we have grown to know and love them so much. Thank you for the millionth time for sharing Molly and McGee with us, and my deepest sympathies to all of my fellow barn owl lovers.

  9. angela njellca62 Says:

    Tears indeed…I have been here from the beginning….McGee and Molly were my first love among all the webcams of wildlife. A sad day…but left with awesome memories.(((Hugs))) to you Carlos and Donna and Austin. SOAR MCGEE…WE LOVED YOU!!

  10. Jocelyn Fay Says:

    It was bound to happen sometime, but it’s so sad–there are tears in my eyes from reading your report.

  11. Oh life can be so hard! I have become addicted to barn owls through Molly and McGee. I am now watching Starr Ranch, The Owltlaws, and Mel and Sydney. All because of Molly, McGee and Carlos Royal. My heart is broken not for McGee, as he is on the Rainbow Bridge waiting for Molly, but for Molly, whose life has been turned upside down. I have never been so taken by nature as I have with these beautiful birds, and because I have all the books, tons of pictures, and calendars,I will always remember them. Just witha different sense of what life is all about. Bless you Molly, and may you find as good a mate as McGee was, and thank you, Carlos, for opening this amazing world to all of us. RIP McGee,

  12. debi Says:


    We will never forget…..

  13. Elbee Says:

    Dear Royal family, I really cannot see through my tears to write about my appreciation to you all for sharing the lives of Molly & McGee., and yourselves. I feel profound sadness too for the probable ,certain loss of McGee and now the clutch. I wish you all continued health and joy. Thank you so much for everything. Elbee, Oregon

  14. Tina Pohlman Says:

    Rest in Peace McGee. Such a very sad, sad day.

  15. Linda Brown Says:

    Oh No, not McGee!! He was such a special angel, just like Molly. What a tragedy, but like you said, it’s the circle of life, whether we like it or not. My tears are slowing as I write this and read your note – McGee, fly over Molly and keep her safe. With love and affection.

  16. Linda M. Says:

    We are sitting here crying for Molly and McGee and remembering all the clutches that came before. Those memories are sweet. This is a sad night for us.

    • amy Says:

      Truly a sad time to learn of McGee missing & the 4th clutch didn’t make it with Molly having to leave them for a hunt & they obviously got cold & died. Just seems like McGee would have had an instinct to take care of Molly long enough for the 4th clutch to grow. Just hope Molly can go on

  17. Ricki Says:

    This whole episode has brought tears to my eyes. That magnificent McGee…….and those sweet little ones who will never know Molly’s loving ways.

  18. Joan from Colorado Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna.. I can’t even begin to express my sorrow.. I guess we have all felt that Molly and Mcgee were family members.. I hope that Molly continues to stay around and I sure hope that yoou give updates sometimes.. thank you Love, Joan

  19. Barb MacDonald Says:

    Writing from Nova Scotia, Canada, and I’m filled with sadness over the disappearance of McGee and the loss of this latest little wild family. I was hoping to find an email that would say this last clutch was thriving and well. Thoughts to you all. Barb

  20. Clovercat Says:

    Happy hunting, McGee (and owlets, too), and much love to Molly and the others. It’s hard to say goodbye. Life is definitely bittersweet…

  21. Elizabeth or ET27 Says:

    Truly sad news, especially coming so soon after the hatching of the first of the new clutch. My thoughts are with you Carlos, Donna & Austin. My thoughts are also with all of my fellow MOD “sufferers” and with poor Molly.

    Your family (human and owl) have brought so much to all of us. Thank you for sharing both the good and the bad along the way.

  22. I am so very saddened by this. Oh my gosh and words beyond what I can express. I hope Molly can take care of DeeDee and the others that may hatch.

    I have loved McGee since the day I first became aware of owls, through your site Carlos, with Max hatching.

    My prayers & love

  23. Leatha Fo Says:

    OMG Too sad for words. But, Carlos, Donna, and Austin- what you did for the owl world and for all of us followers is beyond comprehension. We thank you with all our hearts for sharing all these gifts with us.

  24. ruthiesmom Says:

    Heavy heart.
    But thank you for sharing this with Us, just as you also shared every joyful moment too.
    Please accept my warm embrace of understanding and friendship.
    I still have that same sense of wonder of this all. Till my last breath will never forget the sights and sounds of Molly & McGee’s Owlbox.
    Thank you dear ones.
    Chris in MI aka ruthie’s mom

  25. Doreen M. Says:

    I am so sorry for Molly, McGee, the babies, the Royals, and all of us devoted Molly-watchers. We loved them so. But thank you, Carlos and Donna, for all of the great photos and books we have to enjoy still. And to Austin for his videos. Tears . . .

  26. Elaine Says:

    My daughter and I are so sad to hear this news, even though we know it is nature’s way. Sending hugs to all our owl-watching friends around the world. Thank goodness we have the books and can see McGee anytime we want!

  27. Linda Says:

    Thank you for allowing so many of us to have had the privilege of viewing Molly and McGee and their beautiful babies. We all were witnesses to the amazing circle of life. Good bye to McGee the Magnificent!

  28. Ann Price Says:

    I will never forget McGee’s devotion to his family, and those terrific legs. I toast you all from my McGee’s Fling and Fly Service coffee mug.

  29. Anne Says:

    Our hearts are broken for Molly. Thank you for bringing this magnificent owl into our lives. We will never forget Legs McGee.

  30. catsnewwife Says:

    Carlos and Donna, I am so very sorry to hear this news. I have watched Molly and McGee from the beginning. The wonderful couple were a part of many many homes, but none more than yours. My heart is heavy thinking about you, and of course, Molly.

  31. Marilyn Says:

    I am in such sadness, Carlos, Donna and Austin. I hope Molly is okay and finds a new mate. Perhaps she will show up someday. We knew this would happen, but not in such a tell-tail way. Pun intended to lighten up this board.

    God Bless you all and thank you for bringing us such a wonderful experience.


  32. So very sad…this makes all the gift books given even more precious. Hopefully Molly will stay in the neighborhood and have a new mate and happy ending.

  33. Katy Van Note Says:

    Oh, Carlos and Donna
    I type this thru tears. We know that nothing lasts forever, but we all love Molly and McGee and their owlets so much, they became our family too. McGee is in many many hearts. He was a part of teaching the world to respect and honor nature. Thank you, Carlos and Donna for bringing them to us. Bless you.
    Catbird 22

  34. AnnSavage Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear the news. I loved “our” owls and all their owlets. My thoughts are with all of Molly’s friends.

  35. Donna Smith Says:

    I can hardly see through my tears. How hard for you Carlos, Donna and Austin to realize what has happened. Let’s hope Molly comes back and thrives. Thanks for the wonderful, exciting times with M&M.

  36. amanda Says:

    I can barely see through my tears and grief to type but I can say this. Molly and McGee turned the world onto barn owls and for that there is no measure of greatness enough for words to capture. My prayers are with Molly and the Royals in this very sad time.
    always faithful,

  37. Amy Says:

    Omgoodness-so sad. They brought so much joy to so many. Poor Molly.

  38. A Friend of M&M Says:

    My heart sinks as I hear this news, but as you said this is the cycle of life. I have such fond memories of the Owl Box and through the sadness I have a great big smile when I think of how much fun we had watching Molly and McGee. My heart goes out to you and Donna.

  39. Joan Schultz Says:

    I am proud to have been a part of the early days of Molly & McGee. If the statistics are correct, McGee outlived the typical barn owl and his progeny live on to keep the circle unbroken. Thank you, Carlos & Donna, for allowing us into your home and into ” M & M’s” lives. I am sorry that Molly had an “unsuccessful nesting” this time and hope she lives out her days in owl happiness. You brought forth maybe fine clutches and brought us humans happiness and friendships that will last forever. What a legacy!

  40. TByrd Says:

    Dear Royal family…we are so sorry about the latest news concerning our dear and beloved Molly and McGee. They were our first loves and will be our forever loves. Thank you so much for bringing them into our lives and thanks for all the wonderful memories of days gone by with the lovely Barn Owls of the World. You are very special people and the Royal owls are as well.

  41. Yes, truly a difficult reality and sad time for we long-living humans. I cherish the paintings I did of McGee’s beautiful, comical, royal face! Keep us posted. Maybe a new pair will occupy your box, or Molly find a new mate; it’s nature’s way. I doubt if the box will go empty. Thanks for your timely communication with we fans. – – Marilyn, near Chicago

  42. Barbara Says:

    So very sad for all of us and for Molly. May she find a new mate and be happy. Fly free, McGee. We will never forget you.
    Barbara ~ Tarheelmom

  43. Linda Greene Says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m crying big croc tears. Of all the owls McGee was the most handsome. I’ll remember him always. Sympathy to you and Donna and poor Molly. ldgreene123

  44. Jeanine Watson Says:

    Rest in peace, McGee. I would like to extend my condolences to the Royals and to the many, many other people who will grieve for McGee and the fourth clutch. Molly, my heart breaks for you.

  45. Scotty Zilinsky Says:

    They have been such a part of my life for the past couple of years. Somehow, I can feel Mollie’s loss. I’ve heard that the mate left alone often dies of lonliness. It’s hard to think of.
    Rest peacefully in nature, McGee.

  46. Kathy K Stair Says:

    I extend my heart felt sadness over the loss of mcgee. I will treasure my memories of the first 2 clutches. I hope for the best for molly. Iextend my sympathy to the Royals for their loss.

  47. Wanda Campbell Says:

    Oh, I so never wanted to face this day and hear the inevitable news! I cried like a baby. Thank you so much for bringing this experience to us! I’m so grateful to have Austin’s CD and the story book!!!

  48. Aj4thebrds Says:

    So sorry to hear of you loss at Molly & Mcgee’s Owlbox it was the beginning of my love of the Barn Owls and where I started my chat and met wonderful folks that enjoyed the entertainment that theses Owls can bring into your living room. Still beats any TV show on wildlife. And it was because of you willingness to sacrifice many hours to bring this entertainment that Allowed us to enjoy Legs McGee!! My heart goes out to you Carlos, Donna and Austin during this tough time of reflection of so many hours of enjoyment!!Aj

  49. Brenda Hanson Says:

    I am so deeply saddened to hear this news. I almost wish I hadn’t read it, as I made me cry. I will always remember McGee. So sorry about the fourth clutch. Molly must be heartbroken. I know this is the way of nature, but it is still sad.

  50. Kathryn Smith Says:

    How terribly sad, but like Carlos says it’s the Circle Of Life. We will never forget McGee!
    Fly high friend, to the Rainbow Bridge….

  51. GeniaKnitz Says:

    Thank you for letting us know, Carlos. My deepest sympathy to you and Donna and Austin. I have loved your little owl families so much; there are other owl boxes and other beautiful barn owls, but Molly and McGee were always – and will always be – first in my heart.
    I’m so glad I found this site in time to watch (and watch and watch!) the magical first clutch, and it breaks my heart to learn that the Magnificent McGee is gone.
    Love to you three, and to all my fellow owl friends. I’ll just get maudlin if I try to write any more, but this truly breaks my heart.

  52. Patti Says:

    Thank you for sharing Molly and McGee. I have been following them since the 2nd clutch. I am very sad. Feel like I have lost my own pet.

    McGee was a beautiful owl.

  53. Kirk B Says:

    It is a very sad day for all of us and we can be thankful for all the memories and all the friends that were made because of Molly and McGee and the Royals. We will always love and think of you McGee.

    Carlos, do you have any idea if Molly would look for another mate?

  54. Karen in Sebring Says:

    I love Molly and McGee so much! I followed their first two clutches and was thrilled to be a part of such a closeness to them. God bless McGee as he crosses the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for Molly. I feel so sad for Molly, I am crying for her. Thank you Carlos and Donna for the precious time we had with both these wonderful barn owls. My heart is breaking.

  55. Am so sad. Carlos you gave me my first peep into owls, new friends, language, and much more. we have dogs, cats, house birds, etc with other animals in our lives that we become so attached to they become members of our lives. Tears are rolling from this old lady. It is hard to lose something you get attached to that you have never touched or seen. You, Donna and Austin gave so many of us, so much, I don’t think you, even today realise how much. I am greatly sorry for your loss of this clutch and McGee. Carlos,your caring, watching and sharing the cams with us has been so special. . I hope your owls that are left give you some comfort. one of your lurking Owl Box watchers.

  56. telitabobita Says:

    This is heartbreaking.I share in your sorrow. My goodness,I am at a loss for words.
    Who would have guessed this would happen to this wonderful family!

  57. maryfkowalski Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna – Thank you for sharing this news with us. Even though Barn Owls have a brief life expectancy it is really sad that Molly lost her mate as well as the clutch. As you said, it is the way of nature. It reminds me to cherish every day that I am blessed to be alive. Thank you for posting his photograph. The first clutch was, indeed, incredibly special.

  58. LoveYourDNA Says:

    Fly free, McGee… Fly Free!

    No other words can express my sadness.

  59. Michelle Says:

    It is with very heavy heart and many tears that I sit here and write this thank you to McGee. It is life, I know, but it is also reality and humans such as I don’t deal well with reality like this. I will be forever grateful to both Molly and McGee and all the beautiful owls they hatched. I can imagine that Molly is equally heartbroken, but I will pray that she will find another mate and have many more clutches. Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for letting us know the joy and the sorrows of the wonderful adventure of the Owl Box. I will be forever grateful and will keep my Molly Watcher sign up in our backyard forever.
    God Bless You Molly and McGee. Until we meet again…


  60. TinaHoot Says:

    This really broke my heart. So sorry to hear of the loss of a great owl and teacher. Thank you Donna, Carlos, Austin, and Molly, for everything you have done to enrich our lives.

  61. Cherie Says:

    Molly and McGee leave behind not just their surviving owlets but a whole group of people around the world who were privileged enough to learn through them about barn owls, dedication, devotion, nature and life. What a great gift they gave us by (even unknowingly) sharing their lives.

    RIP McGee – fly high at the Bridge.

  62. Sue Orjada Says:

    I really appreciate all the updates you have sent us. This is the update I think we all have been dreading. Molly, McGee, all the owlets, and you (Carlos, Donna, and Austin) brought so many together to become intimate with nature on a very personal level. I thank you for that privilege. Now, we grieve together and pay tribute to a magnificent owl who was a loyal mate and good father. We grieve for the loss of his offspring and the promise that died with them. We grieve for Molly and the loneliness she must feel. And we grieve with the Royal Family, in which these special owls held a special place. But, we should celebrate that Mcgee and Molly will live on in their offspring and their offspring. Thanks to them, we will never look at barn owls as just owls. And we will smile.

  63. ann smith Says:

    This makes me cry.

  64. joym13 Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of majestic McGee, he was such a handsome owl and a great provider for Molly and owlets. Thanks to the Royals for sharing them with us.


  65. Deb Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna and Austin,

    I am so sorry to hear about McGee and the fourth clutch. Very sad. At first I was in shock as I started reading your blog and as I continued the tears started flowing and I can’t stop. I know it is the circle of life but it is never easy. He was such a handsome owl and a good provider to Molly and the owlets. I know there are other owl boxes out there but none compare yours. Thank you so much for bringing Molly and McGee into my life. I will never forget him. He will always remain in my heart. Hugs and love to you and your family. RIP McGee.

    Deb in OH

  66. Dear Carlos and Donna,
    Here I sit, crying over the passing of the clutch and McGee. He was a special owl, and I hope Molly can deal with the change that has been dealt to her. She was as resourceful as she could be. What a legacy they are leaving! Hugs to the both of you and prayers for Molly.
    Roz from Tacoma

  67. Maureen Says:

    my heart is breaking as I read this sad news.
    Love you Molly and McGee

  68. Candy Says:

    McGee: a piece of my heart will always be with you wherever you are.

    Thank you Donna and Carlos for keeping us in touch with Molly and McGee’s world even without the cam. There will always be sadness, but I guess it just seemed to happen too soon.

  69. Karen in Sebring Says:

    I am in mourning for our beautiful “Legs” McGee. He was a wonderful provider for his little families. I loved watching him as he swirled in with his food deliveries for the little owlets. I will never forget him or Molly. I am crying for Molly because her world is so different now. I pray she will be able to find another special mate and use the owl box for clutches in the future. God bless McGee as he crosses the Rainbow Bridge. Thank you Carlos and Donna for allowing me to be a part of the happiness and the heartache of nature.

    • Lana Moore aka Lib Lana Says:

      You’ve said it so beautifully, Karen in Sebring! I add my condolences and echo Karen’s words. Lib Lana

  70. I am so sad. Because of Molly and McGee I conquered my fear of long flights and flew to CA to meet some of the best people in the world, now lifelong friends and see one of the most beautiful places in the world, where I will one day make a home. Fly free McGee like all birds should. I know you see us Molly watchers crying al over the world. But know you taught us to soar and changed us forever

  71. I’m so sorry to hear of the loss, poor Molly I feel so sorry for her. And for the both of you. I know like the rest of us you loved them very much. Mcgee will always be remembered.

  72. Tears here…I’ve been here from the beginning and this truly saddens me too.M&M were my first love among all the webcams and will always have that special place in my heart.Donna,Carlos and Austin…{{{hugs}}}..McGee…soar and watch over our Molly girl!! We love you!!

  73. Deb Says:

    Not Leggs McGee My heart is heavy with this news. Bless poor Molly trying to save her family. Thanks you Donna Carlos and Austin for such a wonderful experience. So happy to have all the memories from the very begining of this fabulous ride.

    Bless you all!

  74. Pursja Cat Says:

    This sad news just breaks my heart. But nature is not always kind. I am thankful for Carlos & Donna having given up so much to bring us the experience of the common barn owl. & as heartbroken as I am, I know they are feeling even more sadness. They gave me my love of owls from sharing Molly & McGee with the world, & for that I will always be thankful.

  75. Linda Brown Says:

    I am immensely saddened at the loss of McGee and the loss Molly had to endure of her mate and her family. I extend my sympathy to the Royal Family as well. May McGee fly without fear in God’s perfect sky and may Molly stay safe and find another mate. Thank you for letting us know.

  76. glenna march Says:

    OMG!!! How Awful! I am in tears here :( gmarch53

  77. Pam Says:

    Nature is incredible and we were privileged to experience it in such detail. Thank you Carlos and Donna. We have seen the circle of life and we should be happy and in awe.

  78. Cindy Says:

    My heart is broken.

  79. Bobbie AKA legggs Says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear that McGee has moved on to the Rainbow Bridge. May Molly find a new mate as wonderful as he, and continue on with the nesting season.
    What sad news.


  80. Cindy B Says:

    God bless our owl friends; this is a sad event. Donna, Carlos and Austin have brought the wonders of the natural world to us. We thank you and remember the joy of the good times with Molly, McGee and all the owlets.

  81. FloridaSkye Says:

    Oh, Donna, Carlos and Austin, I am so sorry you have lost McGee. I am deeply saddened by this. You and your owl family opened a whole new world for me and helped me develop a greater appreciation for all life. I hope Molly continues to thrive and I thank you for sharing your owl family with us. Love, FloridaSkye

  82. Penny Jean Says:

    Too sad to even write a proper comment. Thank you Molly & McGee. Thank you Donna, Carlos & Austin.

  83. Lisa Burns Says:

    My heart is broken and I cannot stop crying. Oh, Carlos, Donna, Austin….poor Molly. God Speed McGee..babies. We love you very much!!!!! : (

  84. Colleen (Puggz) Says:

    You created a very special oasis for the owls and owl lovers –
    Thank you for sharing your passion.
    The experience will live on forever in our hearts.

  85. Darlene Waite Says:

    I AM SO SAD …shedding tears ..I don’t know how or why I , and so many others got so attached to Molly & McGee, but I am. Have the books & calendars from the first clutch. Just was telling friends about the 4th clutch & the amazing dedication & work M & M expend daily- I feel like I’ve lost a family member- & I know you certainly do. My condolences..- Darlene/Florida

  86. The life of a the Birds of Prey is very hard. In the wild barn owl usually live about five years. It makes us sad when a birds (or wild animal) dies. But we should try to think what a miracle it is that they survive at all. With spring coming we will see many birds, we should take the time to stop and really enjoy how miraculous they are. Did you ever think about the fact that God made man in His image. But He gave the wings to the angles and the birds. I think so they could fly closer to the heavens, for Him to enjoy. He gave man seven cervical vertebrae so we can bend our necks and lift our face towards the heavens to praise God and watch his birds.

  87. Sue Hawkes Says:

    Oh how very sad – your touching description of Molly’s vain attempts to find some life in Dee Dee and the eggs just broke my heart. I know it is the cycle of life but it doesn’t make it any easier to bear. Carlos, Donna and Austin – thank you so much for the wonderful experience you shared with all of us.

    The comforting thought that McGee is waiting at the rainbow bridge for Molly made me smile through the tears – I hope she finds solace, perhaps with a new mate. Do owls take a second mate I wonder?

    I cannot remember the name I used when watching the first clutch – I was glued to the computer until all had fledged – so I’ll use my own – looking forward to hearing some joyful news from you and thank you again – Sue Hawkes, California

  88. Leta Says:

    Through you and your family and friends I have learned so much about the ways of the owls and nature. For your devotion to bringing us the owl cam, and teaching , and photographs, and the lovely art, a heartfelt thanks. Like others, I too am reduced to tears. The Royals and Molly and Mcgee story have been interwoven into my life for the past few years. I am saving my 2011 calendar because of the beautiful pictures. This is life and we must rejoice in the lovely memories. However, it’s very sad that this story is mostly over.


  89. Sherrie Pearl Says:

    This is a very very sad night hearing about McGee. I have never seen a male owl as handsome as Leggz McGee and I doubt I ever will. He has crossed the rainbow bridge to be with his other children and may God bless them all. I mourn for you the Royal family and especially our beautiful Molly.

    Peace be with you all and my sincere prayers.

    With you & Donna’s help, Molly & McGee started it all.

    I thank you so very much for bringing them into my life.

    Hugs & prayers to you Carlos, Donna & Austin.

    Love forever
    Sherrie Pearl ( Sher67 )

  90. Karen Levinson Says:

    McGee, fly high, fly free.

  91. maryjozwi Says:

    Oh I am so very sorry Carlos and Donna! I know how much you loved seeing McGee and his family and were looking forward to watching their new family hatch and grow up. A multiple tragedy for sure! We will all miss them so very much!

  92. I know it’s the circle of life, but it is still so very sad. My heart is breaking. I appreciate everything you’ve done to bring these beautiful owls and their offspring into our lives. Now I think I’ll go look at my Molly & McGee book.Sigh.

  93. Claudia O Says:

    Leta said exactly what I wanted to say. The cycle of life is glorious, exciting, and can be sad as well. I don’t think I will ever forget Molly and McGee. Claudia O.

  94. tresbien Says:

    Also tearful and with a heavy heart but wanted to send my love and support to Donna, Carlos & Austin and everyone who watched and shared a remarkable time together with Molly & McGee.

    • sdsurfchick Says:

      Thank you for sharing your link Tres. Jxo

      • Mlhecox Says:

        Thank you for the link to the photo of McGee and molly…my eyes are tearing again. Miss him so much.

    • VSue Says:

      tresbien what a lovely photo thank you so much for sharing!
      Hugz to you and thank you
      <3 to you too

      • Debi Rae Rock Says:

        I was one of the 1st & 2nd clutch addicts. Me and my trusty dog Copper-top. The great folks I met on the site enriched my life, such an amazing story of how a barn owl can unite people, put Austin through college and make us grown ups cry like babies over McGee’s disappearance and Molly’s loss. Hang in there everyone. RIP McGee–Debi Rae Rock, Central CA Coast

    • Buddys Mom Says:

      Thank you for the link, Tres, what a great photo. It also reminded me that in addition to our love of Molly & McGee, what a great community we formed around these owls. I loved “Coffee with Carlos” and our sing-alongs. It was more than worth all the sleep I lost staying up late and getting up early to see what the owls were doing.

  95. Marilee Godsil Says:

    Dear Royal family,
    Such a terrible ache that Molly lost her dear mate and the clutch is lost, too. Their sweet ways with each other and tenderness with their young always made me weep, knowing I was privy to nature in a way never before seen by my eyes. Poor sweet Molly. McGee must have been waiting at the Bridge for his offspring that left this life before him. I treasure the memory of Molly and McGee, and thank you for giving them to all of us.

  96. Chana Meddin Says:

    We will always have “The Summer of Molly & McGee” which, at the time, we knew was magic but – until now – never realized exactly to what degree…It truly WAS PERFECT and so was being a MOD. We have our books, our DVD’s, our memories,
    and our friends. And we know we were all part of something we will treasure forever because it will no, could not, ever happen again, as much as we wish upon the stars. Carlos and Donna, Austin, and all of you who opened your hearts to us: thank you.
    We grieve but also celebrate the Gift of Molly & McGee by always keeping you all alive in our grateful hearts and souls. You all gave us something no one else ever could have. And this we can cherish until the end of time, and will.
    1SkatrPie, proud member of The Black Sheep Nation

  97. Maxine Keene Says:

    McGee rest in peace. May peace be with Molly. Carlos and Donna, thank you for letting us know.


  98. Debbie (debiMac) Says:

    I can barely see through my tears right now, but I just wanted to say thank you Carlos, Donna, Austin, and all the MODS for a truly amazing & magical experience watching these magnificent barn owls. My heart is breaking for Molly and Dee-Dee. RIP Leggs McGee. You did good!!! You and Molly and your beautiful barn owl family will be forever in my heart. :(

    God bless you all, Carlos, Donna, and Austin. <3

  99. Julie Says:

    My heart is breaking. Thank-you for sharing this part of the larger narrative of the life and times of Molly and McGee. Carlos your voice is forever dear. Please know how much we care in this time of transition. Love to you and Donna. And of course Molly and the owlets. Rest in peace McGee and fly free. Julie

  100. val Says:

    Gosh, ditto what everyone else says. Many of us would have been devastated if the camera was on in the box. The good Lord protects all his creatures and we all Praise Him…………….

    Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
    Praise Him, all creatures here below;
    Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
    Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

  101. Ginger Says:

    Oh so sorry, so sorry! Especially for Molly! Love her heart! Thoughts and prayers through many tears! Love you and thinking of you! Sad but very glad that I was part of this wonderful experience as difficult as it is now – especially for the Royals! Will never forget these beautiful owls and their beautiful family! Love, Ginger (Owlbert/Finn)

  102. sandy/Racoona Says:

    I am so sad :( . Leggz McGee, gone. And poor Molly. Is there a chance for her to find another mate? I really appreciate for you guys, Carlos and Donna and Austin, for sharing this with all of us owl fans. And my blessings to DeeDee and her siblings and our special McGee. (tears are flowing).

  103. LoriG Says:

    I’m so sorry for You Carlos & Donna & Austin. I’m so sorry to All who Love Molly & McGee & their Owlets so.
    A gift, we were all truly blessed with a gift, a glimpse, a moment in time. Magic. Thank you Carlos & Donna for opening this window in time & inviting us in. Thank You Molly & McGee, we’ll Love you forever.
    Lori G

  104. Julie Gagliardo Says:

    I am deeply saddened to hear this news!!!!

    Sweet McGee
    Oh… how I have loved thee!
    Sweet McGee
    You’ve left your mark on me!

    Thankyou so much Royal Family for opening your Owl Box to so many of us! The experience of watching Molly and McGee and the first clutch has left an indelible mark on my heart!
    I’ll be thinking of you and Molly as she forges ahead without her McGee.

    Julie aka animllvr

  105. Lou Says:

    I am so sad, this brought tears to my eyes, what joys these owls have brought to so many, I too hope Molly may find another mate, thanks for all the memories, carlos and Donna

  106. C. McCann Says:

    I’ve lost a piece of my heart today. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

  107. layla20 Says:

    I know I shouldn’t grieve for an animal this much, but I can’t help it. I’ve loved Molly & McGee. Sweet Molly! Such a tragedy!

  108. Mo Says:

    I am so sad to hear of McGee and the forth clutch’s passing. I may be a biologist, but they taught me so much about the ways of nature.
    I hope Molly stays well and finds a new mate.

  109. Sally Kaufman Says:

    There will always be a place in my heart for McGee. So sad to hear this.

  110. Beth Jones Says:

    Pictures of McGee, Molly and the last clutch hang in my Florida Room. We forget how cruel nature can be as we fall in love thru a camera lens. We must be grateful he shared his precious life with us albeit unknowingly. Please keep us advised on Molly.

  111. Cats Whitcher Says:

    Thank you Royals for sharing the magic of Molly & McGee. Words cannot express the sadness; however, I am reminded of the joy and will concentrate on the positive. Thank you

  112. jane van kessel -janesgarden77 Says:

    McGee has given all of us so much. He was truly a magnificent barn owl. I’m glad you shared this with us- as sad as it is. We are all joined forever to learn,care,and be amazed about “the way of the owl”.

    • grams3cs Says:

      I agree, Jane. I am so devastated by the news it’s unbelievable. I can’t quit crying!! I am so glad I have the tile with McGee coming in for a landing. grams3cs

  113. catmama Says:

    Molly and McGee were known throughout the world thanks to you. Thank you for giving us the joy of knowing them and caring about them. I am so sad to realize that this wonderful experience is over. RIP McGee.

  114. Leah Says:

    I share your sadness at this time of grief. My tears are flowing and I can hardly see to type. RIP McGee, DeeDee and unhatched little ones. Peace and life to Molly and future clutchs she will have. Know that all owl lovers everywhere are sadden.

  115. Janetniu Says:

    My heart is aching and tears stream from my eyes with love for McGee, Molly, DeeDee and the unhatched owlets. Of course we all knew this would happen one day and we have our wonderful memories forever. Let’s hope Molly finds a new mate soon or perhaps she will sit in the palm trees until the Great Owl Spirit sees her home. Haiku for the McGee who helped make us a very special family:

    In spirit we grieve, McGee and owlets skyward, we’ll never forget.

    Thank you Carlos, Donna, and Austin for making possible a life-changing event for the world!

  116. erindort Says:

    I am deeply saddened by our loss.

    Although we knew that this time would come, we are not prepared to accept this. Nature’s ways are harsh, sometimes. My heart hurts so much, and I feel compassion for Molly; she will mourn.

    Our dear, brave, wonderful McGee will always be remembered for his beauty and tireless provision for his family. Oh, how I love him! I miss him so much.

    Carlos, thank you for your kindess, and please let us know how Molly gets along.

  117. linda scroggin Says:

    McGee will always be in my heart, I hope Molly finds a new mate, only time will tell, love you all!


  118. Cassie (texcass) Says:

    It’s incredibly sad to think that our McGee is gone and then to realize that the 4 babies are lost too. I’ve followed Molly and McGee since the first clutch and I’ve been blessed with such wonderful experiences. Thank you for the memories, and hope to see our Molly in the future. I know it’s “nature” – but even knowing that…the loss is so painful.

  119. Lisa Burns Says:

    I am back….still crying, but, Dear Carlos and Donna, I want you to know how very much this has all meant to me! It has been an experience of a lifetime and I just cannot express how much I appreciate all you have done. Please. Keep us posted. We love you all very much!!!! Broken hearted in NE FL

  120. Mary aka Maannie Says:

    My heart is saddened by the loss of not only the fourth clutch, but of our beloved McGee. What a magnificent creature he was, and so good to Molly and the wee ones.
    May Molly find another mate and return to the owl box to continue filling your hearts with happiness.
    Once again I thank the Royals for sacrificing their time from the beginning so we could become familiar with, and Love Molly & McGee and all the “kids”.

  121. Barbara Says:

    Oh, Leggs McGee. We’ll miss you as Molly will. I’m so sorry to hear this. So sad, so sad.

  122. I feel so privileged to even know this precious family. Royals and the Owls are forever in our hearts. Just as you have shared all of the good news, I understand that you have to share the bad as well. I hope that Molly is doing well and even though this is nature, I wish that she knew our love for her. I am so devastated at the loss of McGee but understand that this is a reality and it hurts. Through my tears, I want to say thank you for all of the awareness that you have brought to the world about barn owls and thank you for giving them a box to live and raise their young. I love you all very much.

  123. Dee Hodson Says:

    Carlos and Donna, thank you so much for allowing us access to the Molly and Mc Gee saga. It is nature’s way, but it is a heartbreaking loss never the less. When you named little Dee Dee I was so delighted as my nickname when young was Dee Dee. When I got older I changed it to just Dee to sound more mature. I have friends who still call me Dee Dee.

    I have my MOD certificate on a cupboard right near the computer, and cannot bear to part with the 2011 calendar. We drink out of our Molly and McGee mugs every morning at coffee time.

    Blessings to you both.

    Dee Hodson

  124. Barbara Bostwick Says:

    Oh my, words cannot express the feelings I experienced while reading your very moving tribute to McGee, Carlos. I guess we all were hoping he would beat the expected longevity statistics and would be around to help produce many more clutches of healthy owlets. But it was not meant to be. Perhaps one of the offspring of Molly and McGee will move into the box sometime in the future. A very sad situation for a dedicated Mama Owl. I will always enjoy reliving the experience with the lovely Molly and McGee coffee table books. Please keep us posted with news of any future events in the owl box.
    Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin.

  125. Pat Tappe Says:

    So very sorry to here about McGee, and fourth clutch, my grand kids and I truly enjoyed watch all the babies grow and fledge, Molly and Mcgee were great parents, I do hope and pray she will come thru this experience OK. RIP McGee we will always love you

  126. knittinghiker Says:

    Carlos and Donna – thank you so much for letting all of us know. This is very sad news indeed. Molly and McGee and all of their owlets will always be extra special to all of us. You provided a great habitat that made it a great place to for Molly and McGee to raise their owlets. I hope Molly comes back with another mate or one of the now grown owls finds a home there.

    And thank you so much for sharing this experience with us! I hope you’ll still let us know about interesting things going on in the natural world in your neck of the woods.

    Torre (in Maryland, knittinghiker)

  127. Paige Fair Munday Says:

    I am so sad. Your Cd and book I have given to many and they have meant so much to me and my family.This is the best experience in anyone’s life to be able to have the cd/dvd and follow the cycle of Owls and learn so much. My soon to be 2 yr. old grand son to think he has and autographed set. Thank you for all you have shared and keep us posted. Sad and crying out of love and Praying McGee is in a happy place along with his little ones. Sad in Central FL.

  128. Barbara Says:

    . I grieve and share the tears with everybody . I will always cherish all of my treasures.. The Molly and McGee books,pictures, music DVD and jewerly.. It was such a special time watching the first and second clutch.. Thank You ! Carlos and Donna for bringing nature at its best to everybody who watched..” Poor Molly”.. We are all so saddened..But that is the circle of life.. Max Pattison Austin and Wesley will carry on. Also Ashley and Cary.Maybe we will see them flying around..

  129. angie Says:

    Dear Donna, Carlos and Austin
    I am very sorry for the loss of McGee and the 4th Clutch. Through the M and M experience, though, I learned so much about a part of life seldom shared by humans. So many people met your family and became a part of a group of friends who couldn’t wait for the next surprise. Molly and Mcgee and the owlets made us laugh, gasp with excitement and now to cry.
    Hugs to all

  130. PAULA BULLINGER aka PJgrandma Says:

    I am crying so it’s hard to type thru the tears :(
    Poor Legz McGee. Poor Molly. Poor DeeDee and the 4th clutch.
    I followed clutch 2 and was sooo hooked! Ashley & Carrie were my owlets, too. I was enthralled and getting up extra early and staying up very late and am a MOD for life, [Have to blow my nose and wipe the tearz].
    Thank you Carlos and Donna and Austin. Thank you.
    I will always have my memories, they got me thru painful times.
    I know owls only live a few years but it’s just sooo hard to come to terms with this news. Ironic, I read it at a time when my own bird is dying [sniff].
    I’m just thinking of the Rainbow Bridge and all my fellow MODs also.
    Be strong Molly. Thank you.
    Keep in touch, Carlos. We all love you and your wonderful
    family. Bad dream?

    • Breezy Says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that your bird is not well. I’m sure it makes the loss of McGee just that much harder.

      Gentle hugz from another lover of owls…

  131. sdsurfchick Says:

    I am so sad for Molly, the Royals and all of us who loved M&M. Surf, trying to remember only the happy times

  132. kathygoog Says:

    Such a gorgeous barn owl that McGee was. The thing I will always remember is the love I could hear in Carlos’s voice whenever he was talking about M&M. A great loss for us all.

  133. Donna L. Says:

    I am so so sad to hear this news. I remember McGee doing his happy dance for Molly after he had found her the perfect new house to raise their family. So many good memories they have left us with. Fly high McGee and keep your wing around your Molly. God Bless you Carlos and Donna. Thank you for the memories, they are grand.

  134. LacyRoze Says:

    I am deeply saddened by the news of the loss of McGee and the fourth clutch. McGee was such a wonder to us all. My deepest sympathies to Donna, Carlos, Austin and all the M & M family.

    What a legacy McGee left behind. For most of us M & M began it all. Because of them new boxes went up and new owl families were discovered. Thank you for opening a new world to millions.

  135. Connie Kisor Says:

    Grieving for a beautiful owl!!!!!
    Connie Kisor from Pensacola, FL

  136. Bonita Lyon aka bonnibell Says:

    Carlos and Donna, My heart is breaking at the news of McGee and the 4th clutch. McGee will always be remembered for the beautiful, wonderful provider he was for his 3 families. I can only imagine how heartwrenching it was for you to witness Molly realizing all was lost. She is strong, she will be ok. I know how hard it has been watching the Starr Ranch owlets without a dad. It happens. My heart goes out to you both. Just remember what an amazing impact you guys and Molly and McGee had on the whole world. We sure will. We loved it. Fly High, McGee…Take care lovely Molly. Sniff, sniff, Bonnibell

  137. Cathy Messer Says:

    My heart is broken, and I am so sorry for the loss of McGee. Since the beginning I had fallen in love with them and it’s so sad for him to be gone during the hatch and now all is gone except Molly. I love those Owls, I have two large prints of them in my living room, they were the greatest parents ever! My heart goes out to you and Donna as you spent so much time with them and I know it’s a great hurt for you both. Your sharring of your beautiful owls will always be remembered, we all appreciated the journey and lessons of Molly & McGee. I can’t stop crying, it’s just so heartbreaking! My thoughts are with all of you Carlos, Donna and Austin.
    Please keep us updated on how Molly is.
    God Bless from Cathy in Spokane WA

  138. Judy (sunza) Says:

    It hurts our hearts that we lost McGee & the babies. I can only hope that their spirits are all free and soaring with each other without a care in their owl world.

  139. Marcia scattergood Says:

    I was slowly. And sadly losing my dear hudsbandl as I followed the 2nd clutch. It gave me something beautiful and inspiring in the midst of my grief. This news is devastating but thank you so much for the joy you brought me. All God’s creatures go to Heaven!

    • Debi Rae Rock Says:

      It’s heartwarming how the people that followed the clutches because so close. Sorry for your loss, glad u are healing. The owlbox brought me joy in a sad time too—god bless this whole owl box and everyone that made it turn into a historical event. Bless u

    • Breezy Says:

      As I read through all of the comments left in honor of our beloved McGee, I am struck by how profoundly the experience of the Owl Box touched so many lives way beyond our joy of watching Molly & McGee. I’m so sorry for your loss, and indeed, all of God’s creatures do go to Heaven.

      God Bless,

  140. Pam Raver Says:

    No words can really express what a broken heart feels like, but I’m feeling it now. Loving thoughts to the Royals, the mods, and the loyal viewers and friends. Fly high and free, McGee!


  141. VacaDude Says:

    I am stunned beyond words at the suddenness of this turn of events. I am so sorry–to all the MODs and especially to Carlos & Donna. These magnificent birds gave me so much pleasure and humor, and I did my best to pass at least the humorous part of it along through art. And now, the sadness. Hugs to you all.

    It’s hard to imagine him gone; the guy who gave us Fling & Fly, and constantly showed off those glorious gams.

    Carlos & Donna–I know how I will choose to remember him. It was on that wonderful evening when Mary and I got a chance to visit you, and we all sat in your back yard waiting for Molly and McGee to make a showing. They were pretty shy that night, but at one point we did see McGee do a fly-by. He looked so amazing and graceful as he flew; a soul born into the brotherhood of flight.
    That is how I shall remember him–unfettered and unhampered by Earthbound tribulations. Free.


    • Thank you for that Vaca <3

    • VSue Says:

      Thank you VacaDude…That was OWLsome!
      I can picture in my mind now..”Leggz” McGee, happy and free….

    • Debi Rae Rock Says:

      Free—I like that VacaDude—-FREEDOM FOR McGEE

    • OUBobcat (barb) Says:

      Wonderful words John. This connection with nature was an amazing experience. Molly and McGee were great teachers and so are you. Thank you Barb

    • That was very touching Vaca. Thank you for being such a special part of of all our lives in Mollyworld and for being so comforting to all of us who grieve the loss of our dear Leggz McGee.
      Hugs to you and to all from Colorado!
      Pam W.

    • erindort Says:

      Thank you, dear vacadude. You have been a constant part of our owl family since the early days. Just as you have cheered us with your unique insight into the owl’s lives, you always console us in the sad times. One of my favorite associations of McGee is your “Man-cave” drawing.
      Thanks for being you.

    • PegRod Says:

      All your Molly and McGee and Family creations from “Laughing Outside the Box” lift my spirit and imagination. Your ebook from the First Clutch, A MOD’s Journal, brought tears to my Mom’s eyes, even though she did not watch the owls. Every time the UPS or FedEx or even the USPS delivers a package, I always think of McGee’s Fling & Fly Delivery Service logo you created. McGee’s legacy lives on in your art and that wonderful drawing of “You Never Forget Your First Love” on your February 2012 calendar page will always remind me of this love. The March cartoon of Molly and owlet (now DeeDee to me) is precious. Thank you as one of the many whose lives were changed forever for the better.

    • When I shall die
      and leave behind this earth I love –
      These trees, this sky
      The ever-pounding sea
      The early hope of Spring,
      Cry not for me. Rejoice!
      My soul has wings
      And in its freedom sings!

  142. Karyl Ruffcorn Says:

    I can’t even find the words to say how shocked I was to hear this awful news. I never saw any clutches or babies, just the last 2 months last year. But when you, Carlos, came on air to explain things and guide us as to what was happening, I was hooked. I’ve been to some other owl boxes, and while I enjoy them too, nothing has the same place in my heart like Molly and McGee. I feel so bad that Molly has lost her whole family all at once. They were such a great couple together.Will Molly just leave the box now? Please, please keep us informed if you know whether Molly will stay around or find another mate. I’m drying my tears now but only temporarily.

    Karyl in Arkansas

  143. Ruth White (petenwell) Says:

    I don’t know what to say….feeling sooo sad!

  144. Lisa Treacy Says:

    Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. Katie and I learned so much from sharing in their lives. I hope Molly finds another mate and continues her life in the owl box. Thank you for sharing your beautiful owls with all of us.

  145. Oh Nooooooooo……I am so very sorry to hear this. Molly and McGee will always hold a very special place in my Heart, as will the Royals for bringing them to us !! I am so sad and typing through tears……….heartbroken!!!

  146. June Schafer Says:

    Oh how sad. My heart hurts for Molly. What will she do now? We knew our owls had a short life expectancy. We just chose to not think about it, Thank you again Carlos and Donna for giving us the chance to know M&M. What a beautiful, magical time it was. So glad I have my M&M books to look at and remember! Please don’t leave us. Than we would lose you too. Keep us updated when and if things happen at the box. Meanwhile, let us hear about the Royal adventures as well as how Austin is doing.
    Love to you all!

  147. Daisy Broadbelt Says:

    Sat in my flat (apartment) in London England crying my heart out. We’ll never forget sexy Legs McGee. What a great partner and father he was. An example for human men to follow. Poor Molly must be breaking her heart at losing her partner and her babies:-(( The circle of life is so sad:-(

  148. Mlhecox Says:

    I am completed shocked, as I was not expecting this email today. I am full of sadness, as I will dearly miss McGee, and my heart breaks for Molly, losing her soul mate. Thank you Carlos and Donna for bringing the owls into our lives. I was there at the very beginning, and these beautiful owls brought me great comfort and happiness during my divorce. I feel like one of my pets died today. It’s just so sad. Please keep us posted on Molly’s whereabouts. McGee, we love you, and know you will be waiting for Molly over the rainbow bridge. Love to you all here! RIP McGee… :-(

    • Debi Rae Rock Says:

      U hit the nail on the head when u said “I feel like one of my pets died”, that’s excatly how I and many others feel–thanks for putting it so truthfully.

  149. Janetniu Says:

    How ironic that I hung up three canvas prints of owls above my bed this afternoon, before I heard about McGee and the fourth clutch. One of them is a Barn Owl, a not very Common Barn Owl, a male Common Barn Owl!! Happy memories for all of us who shared very special moments online at The Owl Box.

  150. Lynne Townsend Says:

    Donna, Carlos, and Austin,
    I am stunned and so very saddened with this news. McGee truly was magnificent in every way—-as is Molly.
    The story of their lives changed my life forever, and I will be forever grateful to the three of you for the many, many hours, and so much more, that you did for so many around this entire world. We watched, we wondered, we all became friends, we learned and marveled at Molly and McGee. I feel a true loss with this news–sad for Molly at the loss of her last hatch and her “forever” mate. Please know just how much this has meant for so many and how thankful I am that you shared so much.


  151. SARose69 Says:

    My heart is heavy with the sadness of this news. I was so hoping that this clutch would be as charmed as the others! Hoping too that Carlos would broadcast at some later time and I’d get to live with the owls again. Love to all my owlbox friends who I know are mourning with me.
    Love to you all.

  152. Angel Fitzsimmons Says:

    I join in the sadness over the loss of this beautiful owl family. We all know this is the Circle of Life but it is heartbreaking nonetheless. Let us rejoice in the knowledge many owls are flying around with M&M’s genes!

    Thank you, Carlos & Donna, for bringing such joy to so many people through your dedication and passion for these enchanting creatures. Because of you, our lives are richer and our connection with Nature, stronger. “Gee, wasn’t that fun, and we were part of it!”

  153. Karen Robinson Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna,
    I can not say it better than bonnibell. She captured my feelings perfectly. I believe that the Great Spirit cares and cares for all things seen and unseen. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to experience the lives of another species with your great help. You, Donna, and Austin have been channels for this gift and this will be remembered eternally.

  154. Kathy Copas Says:

    So, here I am, walking out of a big business meeting at a swanky French restaurant, and I read your note and just sit down and bawl like a baby. McGee was always my favorite. Of course, I love Molly, too, but he was just so majestic, strong, and—yes—wise. He totally managed the whole processs, from feeding to fledging. The most handsome and debonair owl that ever was or will be,

    No one has mentioned this yet but I also wanted to pay tribute to McGee by remembering the way his life helped that of so many other owls. Our Kentucky-Indiana MODS group here was the one that had a live webcast benefit with Carlos for our area Raptor Rehab at a big movie theatre complex when “Legends of the Guardians” opened. So many people stopped by and gave financial gifts to help our barn owls here in Kentuckiana. And, I know this type of effort was replicated across the US and perhaps around the world,

    I would like to suggest that, in memory of McGee, those of us who loved him make a gift in his memory to a local organization involved in the conservation and preservation of barn owls and their habitats. Carlos and Donna, maybe we could also start such a fund there in San Marcos—maybe an endowment fund with both a school/education and habitat preservation component—to help all of McGee’s offsp/ring and their offspring for generations to come AND to help young people everywhere grow in their understanding and support of nature and barn owls. This way, the legacy of McGee truly would live on forever.

    Love to you, Carlos and Donna. Love to all of our MODS who have a hole in their hearts tonight. And, more than anything, love to Molly. May she somehow feel our loving support for her wafting through the skies from whereever each of us happen to be tonight.

    Kathy Copas
    New “Owl” bany, Indiana

    • Lana Moore aka Lib Lana Says:

      Kathy, No one could have said it better! And what a terrific idea…. beginning a fund for the conservation of barn owls and education of our youth to understand nature and owls better! BRAVO. Lana in S. Ohio

    • VSue Says:

      What a thoughtful wonderfOWL idea!

      Thanks for the inspiration and sharing ideas.

  155. Robin Lordi Says:

    (((Carlos,Donna and Austin))),
    I am so sorry for your loss. McGee is a family member and I know how much he was loved. My tears are flowing…I do hope that Molly finds another mate. Molly and McGee and the owlets have brought such joy to my life. Thank you again for sharing them with all of us. Much Love,

  156. Dot O'Connor Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna,

    Although I haven’t been active in the owl box since the second clutch to work responsibilities, I have been following. I am so sorry to hear about McGee and the clutch.

    Nature is so harsh sometimes, doesn’t seem fair but like you said, it is all part of the cycle.

    Take care. I’m enjoying my happy memories of watching Molly and McGee and I’ll always have the book to remember them by.

  157. Vee Miller (VeeTX) Says:

    Even though we know the mortality statistics of our beloved barn owls, it’s difficult to accept that they apply to our McGee, aka Leggs. Hopefully, when the time comes, another male will show up and ask Molly to be his mate.

    Carlos and Donna, if this hurts us who are reading these words, I know it had to be even more difficult for you to witness. I wish you were near so I could hug on you. {{Carlos & Donna}}.

    I can’t say anymore right now; I’m crying, just as all the MODs did when they read the news. Part of our sorry is the thought of not ever hearing again from you lovely people. We are still interested in what’s going on in your lives – and Austin’s too! Y’all have captured a corner of our collective hearts that we will carry with us always.

    Love and Blessings,

  158. Linda Smith Says:

    I could not believe this sad news when I read it and in fact have read it twice now. I feel like everyone does after hearing this about precious McGee. I am so heartbroken and I know Carlo and Donna feel the same . This is a very sad and tearful night and the only way to get through this is to know that McGee is flying high over Rainbow Bridge. Heaven is a little sweeter now because of him. I do feel so bad for sweet Molly now and not having her babies makes it worse. I hope and pray she finds another mate in time.
    God Bless you Carlo and Donna and Austin.

    Linda Smith

  159. Michelle Says:

    Carlos –

    Please, please, when you can, send us a photo of Molly. I really need to see her after this terribly sad news. I knew this day would come. Today was not a good day for it.

    Molly is my true heart, and I miss her so much. I need so much to see her and to send her my loving energy at this time.

    Thank for this update. So sad and broken is my heart.


  160. Teri Trickey Says:

    I followed Molly and McGee and their first three clutches, but it is true, that first one really taught us so much about owls and their day to day, minute to minute lives. I will never forget that first experience I shared with my second grade students and my family.
    When I first heard of this loss, I went through shock, denial, and now acceptance that it must be true that he’s gone. I’m heartbroken over Molly’s loss and the loss of the fourth clutch. I remember how worried we all were when Molly went missing that one time with the first clutch and then she came back, so I was hopeful this might happen to McGee–I can’t help it, I’m still hopeful, but accepting that it probably won’t happen.
    Thank you again Royals family for all your efforts and excitement over our beloved Molly and McGee. I wonder if she will find another mate? It seems so disloyal to think it, but it could happen too.

  161. Terry Flinn Says:

    Tears came as I read your post. It is so very sad to hear about Molly and McGee and their newest clutch. May heaven be blessed with their presence now. They brought much happiness to all. Thank you Carlos and Donna for sharing them with the world. Love and hugs terry Flinn

  162. Nancy Anthony Says:

    I am just one of the many grieving with you but happy to have had the experience of watching these wonderful owls with you and everyone else. Lives were changed and friendships made that cannot be broken. May McGee be waiting on the Rainbow Bridge to welcome all of his friends.
    Nancy in Idaho

  163. janice Veteran Says:

    Has anyone gone looking in the hunting grounds?
    Maybe he is hurt and needs help.

  164. Ann Richards (Nashville) Says:

    All the comments above express our universal feelings of thankfulness for the efforts made to share Molly and McGee, for the sadness of Molly’s losses, for the happiness of our experiences, for our international owl-friends, and for the joy and beauty of learning about this miraculous part of nature. We can all honor McGee by donating to local or national funds which care for the preservation or study of the beautiful barn owl. I wish all my MOD friends and the Royal family much comfort as I too find comfort in replying here.

  165. CAequuslvr Says:

    The world mourns this tragic loss. I cannot stop crying and have tears streaming down my face. I am so very sad. I am also so very thankful for the precious memories, education and journey that I had with M&M and the Royal family. We always wish that something so very, very special could last forever.

    There will only be one “Leggs” McGee. His legacy will continue as long as we remember him in our hearts.

    There will always be the M&M effect. Everytime I see anthing owl I smile because I think of Molly & McGee.

    Carlos & Donna, I don’t have all of the words to express my gratitude for all you have done to bring M&M to me and the rest of the world. Please keep us updated on your travels, what Austin is doing and, of course, if another family comes to the Owlbox.

    ((((HUGZ)))) for everyone.

  166. Stana Short-McLeod Says:

    Carlos and Donna, I am so sad to hear this, but thankful for many hrs. of learning about Molly and McGee and their families. We were so luck to be able to view 3 clutches! I will never forget the great times we had. Poor Molly <3 Thank you for allowing us to enjoy the great experience w/you and your family, Sincerely , Stana Short-McLeod

  167. Kate Says:

    The Mighty McGee… if any owl could live forever it would have been him. Tears are flowing as I say goodbye to our amazing McGee.

  168. spoonbread Says:

    My heart hurts for our Royal owls. I am thankful for McGee’s joy and loyalty to Molly and the kidz. I am so proud of our Molly and will keep her in my prayers. God bless you, Carlos and Donna.

  169. Janice Grassmeyer Says:

    So sorry to hear the sad news. Molly and McGee and families gave us their best and I grew from the experience of a lifetime. 2010 was my introduction to many new experiences due to you, Carlos and Donna, broadcasting The Owl Box. For that I thank you, you made it all so special. My hope is that Molly can find a mate and maybe raise another family but whatever happens, I will always have fond memories of my Owl Box family and friends. Goodbye McGee, fly high and free.

  170. janie2 Says:

    I can’t begin to express the sadness I feel right now. The first clutch really was magical and pulled us in to a world we would become consumed by. Austin’s 2 DVDs will be my comfort now as I try to relive the magic. I’ll never forget McGee and Molly and the joy they brought us. Now as the tears flow, I send my heart felt sympathy to you Carlos, Donna, and Austin.


  171. Lucy Sanders Says:

    Dear Carlos & Donna,

    I really have so many words to describe how I feel and I am sure I am not the only one…sad, devastated, empty, heartbroken, depressed,etc. I hope Molly can make it through this heartbreak and live. I will keep McGee in my heart forever and thank you for giving us all of the Molly & McGee memories.
    Thank you for letting us know, I am sure that was terribly hard.
    Take care & keep in touch,
    Lucy (silent MOD, Troy, OH)

  172. NatureLuver Says:

    Carlos, Donna, and Austin,

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. This is such a sad event. Thank you for sharing your owls with us and making it so very special.

    I was wearing my spring graduation class t-shirt today, VacaDude’s design with Max, Pattison, Austin and Wesley. It brought back so many wonderful memories.

    Carlos and Donna I have been wanting to tell you and thank you guys for changing my life. I have always loved birds and your owl box got me back into taking local field trips and such. Then without even looking I met a wonderful man and three weeks ago we married. Get this, he is an ornithologist who runs birding trips all over the world. This summer we travel the Great Plains states then head to Alaska and end up in Australia. And this is just our summer!

    I hope Molly doesn’t give up. I also hope your owl box is not empty for long. That is, if you plan to keep it up. Can’t imagine how hard this is for you guys.

    I Love You Royals and Molly. Sweet dreams McGee.

    Liz Garney-Stevenson
    Galveston, TX

    • Daisy Broadbelt Says:

      Congratulations Liz. So very much good came out of Molly, McGee and the owlets, and I too want to thank Carlos, Donna and Austin for making the world a smaller place, and letting me make really good friends all over the globe.

    • FloridaSkye Says:

      NatureLuver, what a wonderful story! Thank you for letting us know how Molly and McGee changed your life. I wish you and your husband much happiness.


  173. Lucy Says:

    Oh my goodness how very sad, such shocking news, warm thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family on the loss of McGee and the new family…. RIP McGee, you will be missed… Thank you Carlos and family for sharing the owls with us and hope that you can continue to keep us updated on the owl box. It is because of watching Molly and McGee, that I have continued following other owl boxes and the enjoyment of watching these little families come along, grow up and fly away brings tremendous joy to my life…. that and watching the eagle cams.

  174. Jerilynn Says:

    I am so sad right now. I feel so bad for Molly, all alone. I know how she feels. Thank you for everything you and Donna have done to share their lives with us, Carlos. I’ve been fortunate to have been with you from the beginning. You’ve really touched my heart. God bless you and your family. With love from NW FL.

  175. evi adams Says:

    While we are experiencing the sadness of loss, let’s also remember the great joy we’ve known through Molly and McGee . We’ve had such wonderful times and made wonderful friends. Thanks,Carlos, Donna and Austin! RIP McGee and owlets… Molly, may you survive and flourish.

  176. twoclubs jane Says:

    My tears fall for an owl I never met
    My heart is sad but I will not regret
    That we had a magical time
    Throughout two years
    Loving our beauty, Molly
    And her mate, McGee.

    To know that the Rainbow Bridge
    Welcomes the arrival of the little DeeDee
    And there she will be comforted
    By her father, McGee.

    RIP Leggz McGee and little dee dee

    (((Hugs))) and Hearts to all the Royal Family, the Molly Mods and all who came to know this wonderful world we call TheOwlBox. Thank you thank you Carlos and Donna and Austin. My magnificent portrait of McGee hangs at the top of my stairwell on the landing. He will live there for me.

    With love and blessing,

    twoclubs jane

  177. Karen Cook Says:

    Oh My!! What sad, sad news! I cannot imagine the sadness you are feeling. I am so very sad!
    What joy Molly, McGee and their young brought to this old Texas gal!! They taught us so much about nature…the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. I will never forget!! I so hope Molly will recover from this great loss and live a long life.
    Carlos, Donna and Austin, thank you so much for sharing your world with all of us. It has been such a wonderful blessing. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    with Love,
    Karen C.

  178. Ginny Says:

    I feel such sadness and wonder what Molly will do now. I also fee such gratitude for being able to take this journey with Molly and McGee and also with all of you wonderful Owlcoholics. What an experience of a lifetime. Thank you McGee.

  179. Julie Says:

    Dare I admit that I can’t stop crying…

  180. ollie Says:

    my heart sunk to my feet…you will never know how much Molly and McGee done for me….I watched them and all their Babies when I was going threw a very hard time,they took my mind off my problems and put a smile back on my face….Thank you and I will never ever forget Molly and McGee ( glad I got the tshirt)

    Ollie Cunningham

  181. Nan Sotto Says:

    Thank you for letting us all know and thank you for all the joy and now sorrow you have helped us share….

  182. Nancy Peevey Says:

    My heart is broken with this news. I, too, am mourning the loss of McGee and the fourth clutch. Thank you Carlos, Donna, and Austin for opening the owl box to us and blessing us beyond words. May Molly feel comforted by all of the love sent to her. I love her, and will always remember “Legs McGee.” He provided so well for his family.
    With a heart full of gratitude,

  183. Debbie Says:

    I don’t even have the words to express my sympathy to everyone who was a part of the magic that was Molly & McGee. Everyone of you will always be a joyous memory for me.

    Donna, Austin & Carlos, thank you so much. Please don’t let this be the end. I truly feel that you are family.

    Even through sadness and tears, I have hope for the owlbox. Maybe, just maybe we will see the next generation continue the legacy of Molly & McGee.

    Lot’s of love and healing for our hurting hearts.

    God Bless you all.

  184. Nina Patry Says:

    Carlos & Donna, Thank you so much for sharing Molly & McGee for all this time. All of the work you have done has been beautiful – your tribute to McGee is beautiful. He was a wonderful owl, mate and father. I have enjoyed every minute of the story of Molly, McGee and their clutches, including the tears I cried tonight upon reading your blog. You have touched so many hearts. God bless.

  185. texasgrandmadarlene Says:

    The owl that launched a worldwide friendship connection and also a college degree will be forever remembered in our hearts. We knew this day was coming soon, but it doesn’t make it any easier to bear. I feel so sorry for our sweet Molly. I’m sure she won’t last much longer. I always thought in the back of my mind that you didn’t broadcast this year because you knew, in your wisdom, that this day was soon to be and you wanted to spare all of us. We will never forget our sweet owls or you and your precious family. Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us. Our prayers are with you and our tears are flowing freely for our loss. Hugs & blessings.

  186. Jean D. Says:

    Such sad news, Carlos. And sad that McGee was called away. But his spirit lives on in Molly, his offspring and in the hearts of all who watched these magnificent owls. You have shared so much with us these past years. Please, let us know how Molly does with finding a mate. She is a lovely owl and perhaps some near by male already has his eyes on her and the owl box. Be blessed and thank you again for all you gave us in sharing Molly, McGee and their owlets.

  187. Vikster Says:

    McGee was my favorite, and my heart hurts to hear he didn’t come home. Must have killed both of you to watch it all unfold. Thanks for telling us.

  188. Ann LaBonte Says:

    I am deeply saddened to hear the news. It was with great pleasure watching Molly & McGee since the first clutch. It was truly wonderful and a amazing experience. What beautiful owls they were. RIP McGee and babies.

    Thank you Carlos & Donna & Austin for letting us view these amazing owls since day one…so sorry….

    MOD from MA.

  189. Cheryl Says:

    This just saddens my heart,I can honestly say it was one of the most exciting times of my life. I didn’t get much sleep living on the East Coast but who cared..I got to watch those famous owls enlighten us. That was worth it all. McGee was magnificent..and Molly such a good mom. I hope she will go on and for me its an experience that will never be forgotten…thank you everyone..!

  190. Lindy Lambert Says:

    Even though we all knew this could happen, somehow its shocking. Your description of Molly returning to her fourth clutch broke my heart. Although I still have some hope McGee might return, my head tells me that its very unlikely. My sympathy to you Carlos, Donna, and Austin and thank you for bringing the Owl Box and the owls to us. It has meant so much to so many people who have made friends and learned a lot. McGee was so beautiful and really my favorite of all the owls. What a guy.

  191. nycdragonfly Says:

    I am absolutely heart broken, to hear of our beloved McGee, and the fourth clutch. Will Molly find another mate?

  192. Rita Says:

    Carlos, Donna and Austin – I am so sad to hear about McGee. What a wonderful provider he was for Molly and the kids. I am devastated for Molly to lose McGee and her clutch at the same time. I know this must be heart breaking for you.
    Thanks so much for all the wonderful hours with Molly and McGee. We all cry tonight

  193. Tammy Says:

    Words cannot express the sadness I feel right now. I started watching the 2nd clutch after I saw it on The Today Show. I have the large picture of Molly and McGee together and each one individually in my living room….I am so happy that I bought those prints as they always bring so much happiness when I look at them. I know Kellie and Jodi were waiting at the Rainbow Bridge to see dad and all three were waiting there for DeeDee. Hopefully it will be a long time before it is Molly’s time to crossover. Thank you SO much Carlos and Donna for bringing this wonderful extended family into our homes. I have learned so much about nature and both the happy and sad times that goes with the Circle of Life. To all the MODS….thank you for your friendship!

  194. Carol joy Says:

    What a shame to have lost McGee. He was a great dad owl. I have watched since the first clutch we hatched and feel close to their special story. Keep us informed about Molly to know if she stays in the owl box or leaves. I will truly miss keeping abreast of their day to day activities and so glad I was able to share in the wonderful story of real life for these wonderful birds. Thank you for making it possible for millions to share in the experience. I hope to see them again in the future.

  195. owletlover - Kathy Says:

    My heart is so sad. Poor Molly. I have become an owl watcher and owl lover because of Molly and McGee. Hopefully Molly will find another fine mate and continue to live in the owlbox.

  196. Carolyn Hirsch Says:

    Oh Leggs, you made us laugh, marvel at your beauty, wonder if you’d be able to keep up with the food demands of your families, admire your strength and loyalty to Molly and now weep as we say goodbye. It was great—thanks for the memories.

  197. Kathryne Says:

    This is heartbreaking news. I’m sharing tears and sorrow with everyone else who shared in the magical time that Molly and McGee and the owlets gave us through the generosity of the Royals. I’m sending love and positive energy to Molly for all to be well with her and for her to find a new mate to share her life with. Farewell, McGee – you will never be forgotten.

  198. Cowliflower Says:

    A heavy heart and no words here. Thank you to so many others for so many beautiful tributes here. But most of all, thank you Donna and Carlos for sharing so much of your lives with us and giving us the true and once-in-a-lifetime gift of the life and families that Molly and McGee made together.


  199. Jo-Ann Says:

    What can I say that others have not.. This has been a wonderful 2 years of watching our most famous owls. I will miss them so much. Yes, life comes to an end but with great sadness to many. Maybe McGee just got trapped somewhere and will return home again. That would be so wonderful. Carlos please keep us updated on any events of our wonderful owls..

  200. Cpeke Says:

    Carlos & Donna,

    My heart is breaking, Molly & McGee were so special. It is hard to imagine Leggs gone. But I will remember all the joy & love that you and Molly & McGee gave all of us.

    I am so sorry

  201. Nancy (Ultra_and_Violet) Says:

    So sorry to hear of McGee and the 4th clutch. My heart goes out to Molly, Carlos, Donna, Austin and all The Owlbox family and friends. I know this was a difficult post to blog Carlos. Now I know why I bought all those Molly and McGee DVD’s, books, songs and memorabilia. I will cherish them forever. Those days were so much fun and I am glad I was part of it.

  202. Linda Young Says:

    The pain is overwhelming for us all. Everything that has been said is so true, our MOD life will never end. We are bonded forever thanks to Donna, Carlos, Austin, Molly, McGee and the precious owlets. You will forever be in our hearts. Fly wild and free dear McGee💙

  203. mandozee Says:

    Dear friends of M&M: When I read the message I felt like someone slugged me in the gut. I sat for a while in shock I think. I know its nature, and death comes to all things. But I feel I’ve lost a close friend in McGee. And I greve with Molly for her loss, and all of you.

    I know I’ve been more of a lurker but i spent many an hour watching M&M and all the cluchs. All my owl watching started with them….. they will always live and fly in my memory and in heaven… there must be animals there or it wouldn’t be heaven, to me anyway.


  204. Dinah Henderson Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna —
    So, so sorry to learn of this sad development. Molly and McGee brought us all such joy and excitement (those texted shrieks of LEGGS! every time he’d make an appearance ). I know how much you hated to share this with us. Thank you for your devotion to the owls and your viewers. I look forward to happier news in the future. RuralGrit

  205. Charlotte Constantino Says:

    OMG……. to know that they just started with the 4th clutch was fantastic…. Seeing Molly & DeeDee was wonderful… But to find out the McGee is missing I know that my heart is so torn I can not stop crying…. this is so heart breaking… Now to lose not just him but the babies too…………
    Carlos & Donna my heart goes out to both of you…. Gods love always. You both have done a wonderful job in sharing you little home with all of us. Thank you so much, charlotte from Jacksonville, FL

  206. gsogirl59 Says:

    I didn’t know McGee well but thought he was the most beautiful barn owl I’ve ever seen. Along with Mr O, of Starr Ranch a sad start to the beginning of the season. My heart goes out to Molly, so sorry sweety.

  207. bunga Says:

    So sad to hear this. I’ve learned so much about owls watching these owls. They were such great owls and I hope Molly will find another mate and raise some more amazing clutches. Thank you for letting us into your world and providing us with this opportunity! I really appreciate it!!!

  208. Bev Unger Says:

    I experienced so much sadness tonight reading Carlos’s news but reading the posts above gives me comfort in knowing I am not alone in my grief. It was a wonderful gift to be to be a part of the owl community in both good times and bad. I still feel the love out there. Best wishes to us all.

  209. Wendy Morgan Says:

    Dear Royal family, I share the grief and sadness of all those
    above and around the world, both for McGee & the 4th clutch
    babies, and for all of you too. You did so much to share their
    lives with us and to educate so many. But we all fell in love too, and worried every time the youngest didn’t seem to get enough
    to eat, or when an owlet missed a landing and fell to the ground. They, and you, became part of our families too,
    and we thank you for that. Please let us know how Molly does.
    Thank goodness for your magnificent pictures of this
    handsome bird and his offspring.
    Fondly, Wendy

  210. arags Says:

    Taking the goodness from the Owl Box experience enriched my life and taught me much about owls and people. For that I shall always be grateful. The way of the owl isn’t easy, but it is nature and it endures. Tomorrow is full of hope and so am I even as I grieve. Thanks to all of you for blessing my life.

  211. debbie Says:


  212. Darlene Lasker Says:

    Such a sad day. McGee will be greatly missed. This was an incredible journey I feel priviledged to be part of. I have many momentos and will never forget the adventure that you gave us so generously. My heart & thoughts are with you both and Austin Too. Mcgee, I will see you in my dreams : (

  213. Kara Says:

    Such sad news:( but what happiness these owls brought to so many! Thank you for sharing them with us.

  214. Susan Kamachi Says:

    So sad they brought the whole world together for a few short years. May he forever fly.

  215. Candee Says:

    Good bye sweet McGee. Thank you Carlos and Donna for letting us see nature and it’s beauty ….such beauty that can bring emotions of joy and tears that are felt in so many hearts…Thank you.

  216. mapjap Says:

    Our hearts are broken, and we weep for our beautiful Molly who bears the load of grief and loss of her babies and her mate, magnificent McGee. How amazing and cruel nature can be, as we all have learned. For the smiles, and tears, laughs and awe of nature we witnessed, I believe as a tribute to the great provider, father and teacher that was McGee, we should pay it forward. Make a donation to your local wildlife rescue, animal shelter, Audobon Society. Buy a box of Girl Scout cookies, throw a few extra coins in the basket at church, donate your time. When you do, say a prayer of thanks that we learned a “common barn owl” is not so common after all. I volunteer at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the dolphin, and I will be saying an extra prayer tonight in thanks that they are all safe and not in harm’s way anymore. Carlos, Donna and Austin – God Bless You and thank you for sharing Molly, McGee and their children with us. They will live in our hearts forever.

  217. Eileen Curran,Phoenixville,Pa.
    Oh MY darlin Molly and Magee…..I am filled with pain in my heart space. Just last week I was telling the Eagle Nation chat from Wildlife Center of Va. about suddenly hearing a male voice in my apt. I would realize it was Carlos Royal from San Marcos,California…….You and Donna and Austin and so many other folks must be heart sick. Mercy…Last May we lost our beloved Momma Norfolk,a bald eagle.She and her mate were raising 3 eagletts. Momma was killed when she was hit by an airplane. The pain remains and I know I shall never forget the wonderous Barn Owls ,Molly and Mcgee. Blessings to you all,I shall never forget your generosity and humor.You helped me through a very difficult period. I am so pleased that I have the books of your photoes.It remains on my coffee table.

  218. Evan Richardson Says:

    GirlyGirl (Melissa) and I are heartbroken. This is a difficult loss for Carlos and family, and I can find no words to offer comfort. I can only hope that M&M ‘s children will be there to carry on.

    We recently lost our barred owls, and their children have moved and no longer hunt in our yard. Our cats are finding mice in the house for the first time in 18 years, so we have installed a screech owl box in hopes of attracting roaming owls in search of a new home.

    Thanks to all for the love and support of Molly & McGee.

  219. Kay graham Says:

    My heart breaks. Thank you Carlos, for including all of us even when the news is hard. Molly and Leggs McGee produced a number of children and probably grandchildren and they have lived a full and wonderful life and we got to be part of it! Wasn’t it fun! TurkeyLurkey aka Kay

  220. Madeleine Desroches Says:

    I am so sorry to hear this very sad news. But I would like to thank you Royals for allowing us all the opportunity to watch with you this life of Molly and McGee. I wonder if Molly will return to the box with another male partner, or if she’ll find another place after this?
    Great Owls…

  221. Christina Walker Says:

    Oh my GOD !!!! I SO didn’t want to hear this. I was there for the first two clutch’s. I loved and enjoyed them so much but when I found out their life’s are so short I knew this day would come. Not wanting to hurt and cry as I am now, I had to stop watching. I wanted to just remember the love, joy and happens of the first two. In my minds eye they would always be together. I really wish I hadn’t opened this e-mail :-(…I can’t stop crying. So much for trying to be part of only the happy things in life. We all must take the good with the bad so I sit here with All of YOU and cry… :-(……Oh my GOD I’m so sorry, my Deepest Sympathies to the Royal Family……. I’ll be removing my name from the mailing list. Can’t take anymore of this. It just hurts too much.

  222. Lucienne Says:

    I had no idea that the news would make me so tearful. Having tuned in since the first clutch, it’s hard to believe that “Legs McGee” is no longer here. As your cameras became more sophisticated, we were able to view the owls both inside and outside the owl box, which was so amazing. Thank you for sharing your backyard with us and for all the sacrifices you made of your time so that people all over the world could experience the wonder and the joy of watching Molly and McGee and their offspring. Thank you to and your family.

  223. Kathy Says:

    I am heartbroken, but I thank you for the wonderful memories.

  224. Barlycorn Says:

    What sad news for all in the owl world. And, for those of us who so loved Molly & McGee and all their dear owlets, it will take some time to accept.

    Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for so many wonderful times. Looking back, we will remember a small time in life that brought so many together with a special energy that amazed, a time that inspired friendships and connections that continue on into the future.

    …and so there was a barn owl, and Molly was her name.

    • PegRod Says:

      Barleycorn – the songs you wrote inspired by Molly and McGee and The Owl Box give great joy and comfort to us. I have all of them on iTunes. I also love to watch the “Final Farewell” now and then on Ustream, since it has three of your beautiful songs as the background for the slide show which Austin assembled with Carlos’ photographs. With your fourth song, I always would think of McGee “comin’ around, not making a sound”, which may be more true now that he has passed on to the spirit world.

      • Breezy Says:

        Dear pegrod,

        Thank you so much for posting the link to the “Final Farewell”. Watching it has helped ease some of the sorrow and brought me back to those wondrous and happy times. I always appreciated Barbara’s talent and her awesome songs were the soundtrack to our nights in the Owl Box and mean even more to me now. I pray that all who loved “our” owls will find joy in the memories, especially the Royal family.


    • sandy/Racoona Says:

      Barlycorn…thanks for the wonderful music you provided for all of us MODS. You are very talented.

  225. Noreen Celeste from Stockton, CA Says:

    Tears fell as I read about handsome McGee and then the sad news of the clutch also. Poor Molly. These owls brought so much joy to our lives and so many laughs watching their antics. Thank you, Carlos and Donna, for bringing the site of these owls into our homes and our hearts. You both did great work, and thanks to Austin I’ll be able to watch the owls always. Let’s hope Molly is able to find another mate who will take care of her. Please keep us informed of any new info about Molly. Thank you so much.

  226. Lindi Says:

    So sorry to hear.
    Fly high and strong McGee

  227. Theresa aka windbeneathwing Says:

    I am so sad right now……thank you for not hiding this from us. Will Molly find a new mate? Amazing how much a barn owl can creep into your heart and soul. Love these owls.

    Theresa aka windbeneathwing

  228. Amy B. in IL Says:

    I am very sorry for all of your losses. This is very sad news indeed. There are many MODs keeping you and Molly in their hearts and prayers. -Amy B. in IL

  229. Geri Says:

    It is with a heavy heart and teary eyes that I am writing this post. How sensitive our Molly is. She tried so hard to fill the void left by the absence of dear McGee; her maternal instincts were strong.
    Sure, it’s very sad for those of us who had the most incredible opportunity to share the wonders of these infamous parents with their first clutch in the Owl Box.
    My heart aches for Molly. What is she enduring with the loss of her owlet, eggs, and McGee?
    I guess we had the information that these wonderful owl parents wouldn’t live as long as we would have wished for them, but the pain of finality is still present.
    Thank you again Carlos, Donna, and Austin, for letting us share this saga with you.
    If possible, an update on Molly would be appreciated.


  230. I loved Magee.
    This is heartbreaking – it must have been so hard for Molly to make that decision to go out for food. My heart is with her.

    ~ Hap Coach

  231. SactoSylvia Says:

    Carlos – I’m crying here. I can’t even imagine how hard it was for you to write that update. Thank you – as always, for everything.


  232. Esther Says:

    So terribly sorry that little deedee won’t get a chance to grow up, and that our beloved Molly is now all alone. McGee was the master. I put on my owlbox necklace and will hold it tightly throughout the night to only remember Molly and McGee and all the wonderful time I spent watching them. I’m so sorry Carlos, Donna and Austin.

  233. Joni Says:

    With sadness I write… but with a heart filled with an amazing love story. A story of animals and the people who watched; made friends; fell in love, too. The story that becomes a part of each of us and continues to grow….a love story about the love story of two owls….who could have guessed that chance encounter of ours could become what it is today. Peace my friends…on the wings of an owl…♥

  234. Theresa Coslett Says:

    I choose to think McGee is out & about and just may return…. if not…. R.I.P. SOAR HIGH McGee!!!
    Sooo much joy he brought to all of us.

  235. Colleen Ireland "IrisheyesCanada" Says:

    This cannot be….it just can’t!!! I guess I am in denial possibly, but I just can’t understand this. I hope McGee will be back, and has just been sidetracked somewhere and is not gone from this world. What an amazing experience this has been. And I guess all good things must come to and end…but I still have hope. The fourth clutch may be gone….but Molly is still around and hopefully McGee will return or Molly will find another mate. What a great “once in a lifetime experience” this has been and thanks to Carlos, Donna, and the family we have had a truely life changing experience in watching the owl box for the time we had. I am very saddened if this is all the end of the Molly/McGee experience. I will NEVER forget!! My heart felt regrets go out to you “Royal’s” as I am sure you are very saddened by this.

  236. Theresa Coslett Says:

    Leggs McGee…… We LOVE you!!! Miss Molly, hope your heart heals quickly…..

  237. Linda Says:

    I will never forget Molly & McGee. They taught me so much about life and love in such a simple way….through nature. My heart is very heavy for Molly right now. And McGee, fly free!!!
    Carlos & Donna my thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for giving us the special gift of observing Molly & McGee and the owlets. You truly brought the world together through these wonderful owls that we called “our own”. God bless you.

  238. SixToes Says:

    Carlos, Donna and Austin, Thank you for sharing Molly and McGee with us. I will miss McGee immensely. I have such fond and loving memories of him. My heart is heavy as many others are also. Molly and McGee will always hold a special place in my heart. Hearts and Hugs <3

  239. sandy/Racoona Says:

    After hearing the news, I went to take a long walk around Walnut Grove park and the hunting fields. How beautiful it is and I will never forget all the fond memories. So glad I have these beautiful books of the “Royal” owl family. God Bless to all.

  240. andrea Says:

    so sad to hear. had to go outside so noone would see me crying over an owl that i only saw thru the eyes of a camera thanks to Carlos and his family. it was a wonderful experience. i wasn’t expecting this kind of an ending but thanks to carlos i was able to be a part of the owl family. hopefully, another pair or molly and a new mate will take over the box again.

  241. I recently lost my dear husband, but before he passed, the two of us got so much joy out of Molly and McGee and watching the clutches grow and fly free. I am crying as I write this, as- despite the fact that this is the “Circle of Life”, as the song says, it is almost unbearably sad. I’m sure you’re aware that Molly may follow him soon, as birds who mate for life often do (I’ve had this happen on occasion with my own birds. I hope that a new pair may come to live with the Royals, but the memory of Molly and McGee will live in many hearts forever.

  242. Moniq50 aka monkie2 Says:

    With tears in my eyes, i cannot believe our beloved Leggz McGee is gone, and Molly lost the love of her life.. Thank you Carlos for letting us know, and RIP little DeeDee and her unborn siblings. My heart is breaking, and will always remember Molly and McGee forever in my heart May you all fly over the rainbow, and McGee with them.. I know Molly will miss her man, and i will still not believe this when i wake up in the morning.

    There will never be another Molly and McGee.

    • Moniq50 aka monkie2 Says:

      PS, please keep us informed, with the cirlcle of life, hopefully one of Molly and McGees siblings will continue their legacy. What a beautiful memory that would bring

  243. Barbara (queenb2) Says:

    Oh, so sad!! He was a loyal mate, loving dad, and a gorgeous owl. So many eloquent rememberances. These beautiful owls changed my life forever, too, and the memories and friends are cherished! Thank you so much Carlos, Donna, and Austin for helping us see the miracle of their lives. Blessings to Molly as life continues to unfold.

    • Barbara (queenb2) Says:

      Had to come back and add – although I “knew” McGee so much longer – blessings to sweet DeeDee, too!! Her poppa will teach her to fly and hunt in Heaven.

  244. Rosemary Dearing Says:

    Like all those before me, I am so saddened by this news.
    I will always remember McGee and Molly and this marvelous
    experience we have had because of them, and because you
    Carlos, Donna, Austin and so many others have shared so much with us.

  245. Judy Says:

    Thank you for bringing us McGee and Molly. I will never ever forget the first hatch. It was such a good time watching them hatch, grow up and leave the nest. The first time Max left the box to step outside will always stay in my mind. Thank you, thank you, thank you! And I’m so sorry about McGee – he will be missed.

  246. mustangal Says:

    With a heavy heart I have read the words that never occurred to me I’d ever read. I know in my mind how difficult it is for our wild owls to survive, let alone thrive. My heart never expected Leggs Magee to be a part of that reality.
    I mourn for Molly’s loss and how agonizingly broken her heart must be. Our owl family has served as mentors to us all in how to treat each other…..with unconditional, all consuming love. For many of us, they served as shepherds who led us from the darkness back into the Light.
    It will be a difficult, and probably tearful announcement to my 4th graders tomorrow. We have learned about the tenuous life of owls, most recently, with the demise of the Starr Ranch patriarch. We have also learned how kind and caring they are to each other. They will take these life lessons with them as they create their own destinies.
    Thank you, Molly and Magee and your precious clutches. And thank you to all of you who were there for this wonderful journey of love. ((((hugs))))

    Love always,

  247. Juanita Hood Says:

    McGee was a regal barn owl and a wonderful dad. He took such good care of Molly and the kiddos. I hadn’t said this before but I lost my wonderful husband and father to my children on Jan 19th of this year. He witnessed my love for Molly and McGee. Maybe McGee is showing off his beautiful wingspan to Don. Carlos, Donna and Austin… Thank you again for many hours of pleasure and excitement during the 3 clutches you broadcast. Peace with all of you.

  248. I am so sad to have learned of the loss of McGee. I feel as though I just lost a pet and can’t stop crying. Mother Nature can be so cruel but you had a wonderful life with Molly and your three previous clutches. You showed the world how beautiful nature and the life cycle of an owl can be. I’ll never forget the joy you brought me via The Owl Box and how much I learned by watching you simply live. I’ll miss you but remember you always. My heart goes out to Molly, the sole survivor and Mommy of the late fourth clutch. R.I.P. Daddy “Legs” McGee.

    Thank you again, Carlos, Donna and Austin for bringing Molly & McGee into our hearts. I’ll never forget them. ♥

    With much love and sympathy,

    Deborah Kluczinsky
    (West Haven, CT)

  249. Elizabeth Mason Says:

    Others have already beautifully expressed my feelings on this occasion. Thank you again for this marvelous experience and for such a careful and complete description of this sad conclusion. Carlos, you are the BEST writer. We’ll all stay tuned for beautiful pictures and happy occasions to come in the Royals’ world. Please don’t drop us now. We still need your commentary, insight, and humor.

  250. Linda Berger, Indiana Says:

    I am stunned and very saddened. I remember watching the first two clutches and learning so much about barn owls that I never knew. I am so grateful for you sharing all of those moments with the whole world. It will leave a void in our lives. Prayers go out to the Royal family and may God watch over and protect Molly.

  251. Kimberly Helgeson Says:

    I am numb with sadness. Thank you Carlos, Donna and all you others for sharing the Owl Box. Very sad day.

    Ragsrule, from chat, nodding my head for a moment………………………. to the circle of life.

    Please do keep up posted on your amazing habitat. It has been a very awesome, inspiring experience.

  252. Pam Reynier Says:

    Rest in Peace beautiful “MCGEE” people all over the world knew you and loved you like we did – you were a good father and mate to beloved “MOLLY” I am so sad, thank you for leaving your legacy with us ………..

  253. Vicki Morris Says:

    Carlos, Donna, and Austin, thank you for sharing your life and time with Molly and McGee with those of us who watched via the internet. Your camera became our ‘eyes’ to this marvelous family and every accomplishment was marked with anticipation and joy! Now, we feel the pain of the loss of the majestic McGee and the owlets of clutch 4. Their spirits are free to rise and fly in God’s heaven.

    Personally, I will always remember your kindness to the owls, their owlets and the families that you invited into The Owl Box.

  254. Diane Kirkland Says:

    Carlos, Donna and Austin…

    As much as we MODs loved McGee–and Molly and all their kidz–you must be grieving even more. So very sad, with the loss of the new clutch in addition to our wonderful McGee.

    Your tireless work with clutches One and Two have made us all a big owl-loving family. Please keep us informed on what happens to Molly now. This is the one part of “being a part of it” that wasn’t fun, but inevitable of course.

    Thank you, Carlos & Donna, and please do keep in touch about Molly.

    Diane (doorcountydi)

  255. Donna Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna my heart is breaking, it must be very hard for you. I think about all of you everyday ,thank you so much for all you’ve done for us. I feel so sorry for Molly, I hope she is okay. Molly and McGee will always be special and I’m so glad to have The books, mugs, ornaments, calendars, clock and other things to look at everyday. Take care and please let us know if you see Molly around. Thank you again for bringing us M&M into our lives

  256. Jan & Tory Says:

    Carlos, Donna & Austin,
    My heart is breaking with the news of the loss of our McGee & his fourth clutch! I simply can’t stop crying! Thanks to an e-mail I found you & Molly’s Owl Box several days before the hatch of Max, the first hatch of Molly’s first clutch! I lurked for the first clutch almost 24 hours a day. By Molly’s second clutch I felt so comfortable, Molly’s Box was home! You & Molly & McGee with their owl family & so many of the chatters & moderators became my owl family! I want to thank you for making it possible for all of us to become a real family of friends through Molly & McGee’s family. You & Molly & McGee will always hold a special place in my heart! We will all miss McGee & wish Molly well! I hope she will find another mate to love & continue to make the owl box her home. I still can’t imagine the owl box without McGee! McGee & Molly’s Owl Box has left not only a legacy of owls & their families but has touched all our hearts to create a real family of humans who love Molly, McGee & their family of owls as well as each other!

    My bird, Tory who watched & listened to you & Molly’s family with me each night as we went to bed knows of the loss of McGee. I’ve told him because he doesn’t understand my tears. He would get excited to hear your voice when you came into the owl box to talk to us! Each night as we went to bed he would say, “Look at the birdie!” He knew & wanted to watch Molly’s Box!

    Whenever I think of owls I immediately think of Molly & McGee! Thank you again, Carlos, Donna, Austin, Molly, McGee & all the owl family! You are in my heart forever! Carlos, I hope you will continue to give us updates on Molly. ((((Hugs))))

    • Nhptown Says:

      Very similar experience for me, except for having a bird. Thank you so much Royal family and to all the Mods.

  257. erindort Says:

    Thank you, Val for your very welcomed and loving comment.

  258. Debbie Says:

    To the Royal Family: I am so very, very saddened over reading the loss of the magnificant McGee. I have watched M&M from the beginning. I have loved this beautiful couple since I first became involved with “the owl box”. I received this very sad news on my cell minutes after I was given the news that my father needs open heart surgery or he will perish within days. This was a double wammy. Last nite, I was sharing the Molly and McGee books with my brother. Needless to say, he’s putting up an owl box! He’s hooked. My brother could not get over the beautiful photographs of Molly, McGee and the first clutch. My tears are still flowing and the lump in my throat remains. Life’s lessons. Yes it is precious. To Carlos and Donna and family a huge thank you for bringing all of us so much joy over the past years. And to you McGee, the perfect mate, provider and more – God speed my winged friend, fly high and quickly as you scan the heavens. I will remember you forever. You brought such joy to so many. With Love, Purplebird

    • Janetniu Says:

      Oh, Purplebird. It’s been so long and now we mourn for our beloved McGee together. Isn’t it amazing how a pair Barn Owl could change all of us? Bittersweet memories. I posted a haiku above. Janet

      • Debbie Says:

        Hi Janet! Long time. Yes, here we are with bittersweet memories. Yes, the owls changed each and every person in some way shape or form. An amazing love story and the owlets they raised so well. Hugs to you! Deb

    • PegRod Says:

      Purplebird – I know that your Owl Box Family is sending you many thoughts of healing love for your father during his open heart surgery and for you and your family during this difficult time.

  259. Donna Page Says:

    Words escape me. Molly and McGee were always a bright spot in my day when we were able to watch all day and night. Just knowing they were there somehow was comforting. I am confident that Molly will return or perhaps even one of the kids will return to keep the legacy going. RIP McGee.

  260. Glennette Starsiak - Glenstars Says:

    I’m so saddened for the loss of McGee and the 4th clutch. How terrible. This owl family gave me so much joy and with that joy came new friends. All I can say is I’m so sorry for the loss. Poor Molly

  261. Annie prunes Says:

    I had such pleasure watching your owls last year and I am so sad to read this news today. I am so sorry for Molly and for you and the consequences of the loss of siipuch a beautiful McGee. Thank you for sharing your owl box family with us all.

  262. owlsitgoin Says:

    Well Donna and Carlos, it was your little owl box that introduced me to the sweet barn owl, where I fell in love with Molly and McGee. It was impossible to watch them passively as they just melted my heart. Now with all the drama at Starr Ranch where we’ve been uplifted by the survival of the owlets thanks to surrogate papa Pete, I’m reminded again by the loss of McGee just how fragile the lives of barn owls are.

    McGee I’m glad I knew you. You were a joy to us all.

  263. Robin Says:

    I am crying as I read this! So very sad! My sympathy to you the Royal Family and many thanks for all that you have done to let the world see something so amazing!

  264. Lindadpa Says:

    Too sad for words. Thank you Donna and Carlos for letting us know. My sympathies go out to you and to all MOD’s who are feeling the same sadness the world over.


  265. Carol Watt Says:

    Words are hard right now for the heart is very heavy. Thank you for your kind way of telling us what took place. I have learned so much from this special owl family and your family Carlos and Donna. Please keep us informed about Molly. May God continue to bless you.

  266. Laurie Finkle Says:

    Shocked, devastated, heartbroken . . . can’t really find the words. Thank you for the beautiful tribute, Carlos, and your gentleness in telling us how this all unfolded. Right now the grief is unbearable . . . my heart goes out to you, Donna, Austin and all of us who were so touched by the life of this most beautiful creature. To have McGee as part of our lives for years now makes this so painful and sad. His memory lives on in your amazing photos, Carlos – I’m so glad to have the first clutch book and other keepsakes of the most handsome barn owl I’ve ever had the privilege to know and love. My deepest sympathy to everyone . . .

  267. Bazzocco Family Says:

    Carlos and Donna we are sad and deeply touched by this tribute to McGee and the 4th clutch. Our family has followed Molly and McGee since their 1st clutch… Having them on our laptop in the kitchen 24/7 we bonded with them and their sweet babies. We have also loved being a part of your lives as well and all the love, sacrifice, loyalty and complete dedication you’ve given to sharing with all of us The Owl Box’s Legacy. We know the circle of life exists… But always so heartbreaking to witness. The blessings far outweigh the sorrow for sure… Love to you all and Sweet Molly. We’ll continue to follow and pray…. The Bazzocco’s

  268. Ann Possinger Says:

    I am so sadden by this. We were told that barn owls don’t live very long so we were blessed to enjoy M&M for as long as we did. I will treasure my coffee table book even more. Wouldn’t it be great to have one of the kids take up residence in the old place!

  269. Kathy Harger Says:

    Hard to see the computer keys right now with all the tears in my eyes. I am so sad about McGee and now Molly has been left alone. How tragic for her and the rest of us who fell in love with them from the first clutch. We will have the wonderful memories though of the joy that they brought to us. Thank you to Carlos & Donna for sharing the story of the owls and the little owlets with us. We will always be grateful to you. My sympathy to everyone.

  270. VSue Says:

    Ode to Leggz McGee
    (and the Fourth Clutch Barn Owl Family)

    And so to the skies above
    His spirit flies alongside the doves
    And other birds; free
    and as appy as can be

    For now; I may feel sad and lonely
    but memories ever so sweet
    As I recall that Deet Deet Deet
    Happy I will soon be

    McGee, you filled my days with such delight
    You made me see the joy in the dark of night
    No longer was the night filled with fright
    But with wonder and glee
    For you I got to see!
    Leggz McGee,
    forever in my heart you be!

    And Clutch Four; precious egglets
    Life you never got to gets
    And precious DeeDee
    who we only got to barely see
    May you be at peace in heaven above
    Knowing how you were so loved

    Oh precious Molly
    Lonely and sad I know
    But another owl for you I know;
    there must be!
    So many around I do see!

    Seems so many owls come and go
    But for Leggz McGee
    and his wonderful Family
    Molly and all of the Clutches from before
    Filled my head with so much Barn Owl Lore!
    Forever in my heart
    they will always be

    They may from this life depart
    but always in my heart
    and flying free
    in spirit they be….

    Valerie Harlow

    • PegRod Says:

      VSue – another touching ode from you – I can almost hear the music! The name “Valerie” makes me think of the barn owl’s Valentine shaped face, the valor with which they live, and the mythology of the Valkyries.

  271. Doug Wilson Says:

    We are in shock. McGee was a unique little guy and he will be missed

  272. Barb H Says:

    I am just SOOO sorry to hear this terrible news, and I am crying tears of sadness as I feel like my heart is broken. I loved Molly and McGee and have followed them since early 2010, when they gave me so many hours of enjoyment after I lost vision in one eye. I learned so much and feel like they were my own beloved pets. I hope that Molly will be able to carry on — I feel so sorry for her, losing her babies and McGee all at the same time. I am so glad to have the beautiful Molly books and jewelry as reminders. Thank you Carlos, Donna, and Austin for all you have done to share the story of these wonderful owls with all of us. I feel absolutely terrible . . .

  273. Joanne Murray Says:

    I think it was Val who expressed it well. I am sad for all of us who shared in McGee’s life with Molly and all the “kids”. He was loved by so many, and did not even know it. Carlos and Donna, thank you for sharing those precious times we all had together. Praise God from whom all Blessings flow. Molly lost McGee and her babies. Lord Bless and comfort.

  274. Julie Says:

    I’m so sad to hear about Mc Gee. I feel terrible for Molly. My heart goes out to Carlos, Donna and Austin. Thank you for sharing Molly, Mc Gee and all the owlets with the world. I will never forget the experience and hope that Molly will find a new mate. A tearful farewell to Mc Gee R.I.P.


  275. Kelly & Russ Harold Says:

    Molly & McGee made a difference in so many lives. I will always count the Royal Family in my blessings, for sharing them with us. What magnificent creatures they are.

    Russ & Kelly Harold Montana

  276. karen hodshon Says:

    oh how sad. i love molly & mcgee and all their owlets and donna, carlos and austin and all my owl friends. it a sad day, karen hodshon rockaway township nj

  277. Carlos, Donna and Austin thank you for sharing Owl life with us.



    McGee THAT feed his babies, Loved Molly.

    Molly & McGee


    Beverly Hitchin Brock

  278. carlyle poteat Says:

    Many of these statements of sadness and loss are very moving. I share the thoughts and appreciation all around for the owls and the people involved in this project since the very beginning. I add my name to the list of people whose lives were forever changed by living with Molly and McGee and the owlets and the Royals during the first two clutches. That was one of the most mind and heart altering experiences of my life. It made me see myself as a human more clearly. I came to accept in a new way the cycle of life and death. Thank you Carlos and Donna and Austen. How much you gave us: these magnificent, mystical, masterful, tender creatures. I will never ever forget them, or you guys. Thank you

  279. Wendy Says:

    My sympathies to all from here in New Hampshire. When I could I followed the first and second clutches; who knew that one day we could know so much about such a wonderful event. The circle of life does come round. Perhaps Molly will bring a new daddy home, and make new families; perhaps new owls will come, maybe some we once knew, and make a new generation, soon. Here’s hoping! Thank you, Carlos and Donna…that must have been so hard to watch. I’ll have to pull out the video and watch the first clutch again….

  280. Sally Dausch Says:

    I can only imagine how devastated Austin, Donna and you Carlos must be. We could only hope that Molly and McGee and all their off spring would live on forever. The only solice is that McGee will be able to meet up with the owletts that left earlier at the Rainbow Bridge, and one day will be there to meet Molly when her turn comes, prayers and good thoughts for your family and for all the MODS and Mods and all who came together to watch these two magnificent creatures

  281. VSue Says:

    The Rainbow Bridge….

    A poem I read some time ago. Applies to pets and I know that “Leggz” McGee was no pet but I feel he is there, flying among the many splendid colors of the rainbow warm, free and happy as can be.

    I feel that one day, all of us humans and all of the animals will one day be in spirit, in Heaven, happy and free…

    So here is, the Rainbow Bridge poem:

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Author unknown…

    Like I said, I know mr. McGee “Leggz” was not a pet, but my feelings are that all animals, wild and free and pets and humans will be together in Heaven…living in harmony

  282. Susie in MO. Says:

    Oh, how I loved those Leggz! I am so sad right now. My heart is broken. Molly, McGee, and their first clutch will always be my first loves. Thank you Carlos, Donna, and Austin for sharing them with the world. The memories will always make me smile. You will always be in my heart.

  283. robbe mcgregor Says:

    What a sad moment, to read about the most beautiful male Barn Owl I have ever have seen. McGee! We will so miss you! What wonderful moments of viewing him, as he flew in and dropped his love gift to Molly!

  284. jackie Says:

    My heart is broken </3 .

  285. Ginny Hoover Says:

    This is so sad. It was such a pleasure watching Molly and McGee and all their young ones. They became family to everyone who knew them. We know they are all at the Rainbow Bridge now and safe. Thank you Royal family for allowing us to view a part of nature.

  286. Laurel Burden Says:

    The Owl Way. It is very hard to say goodbye to McGee and the babies we will never know. But you have given us such an appreciation for these elegant birds and beyond them, the natural world. The first clutch was a special joy. McGee was a special barn owl. My heart goes out to you, Donna and Carlos and Austin, and to all of Molly and McGee’s multitude of devoted fans. I do hope Molly will bring her new Prince Charming to The Owl Box so we can all meet him.

    Thank you for sharing so much.

  287. Scott Sebastian Says:

    Sorry to hear about McGee.I never knew anything about Barn Owls till I started watching Molly and McGee..McGee was such a great provider and you could see how much he cared about Molly.It was such a joy seeing him interact with the owlets.Watching him taking the owlets to the hunting grounds
    and teaching them to hunt.Watching him be the big protector when a intruder came to close to the box.So long McGee you were a great barn owl.Enjoy the happy hunting grounds in the sky and hope one day you and Molly will be together again.

  288. Dear Carlos, Donna and Austin,
    As I read the sad news, I feel as if someone ripped my heart out. I pray that Molly will stay strong and find a new mate soon.
    My condolences go out to you Carlos, Donna, Austin and to all of our Mollywood family. We love you ((((Molly)))) and we will forever miss you Leggs McGee! (((♥)))) … There is a new brightly shinning star in the sky….it is our McGee!
    Tears from Colorado,
    Pam W. (a.k.a. CastOwLRockCoL)

  289. marie Says:

    Carlos, nothing can express the owl education we all received from being able to watch Molly’s first clutch beginning to end.
    I told my friends about it all back then and my best friend told me if we continue to watch more clutches, chances are things would not go so well….and they haven’t. Mother Nature has her way of dealing with things. McGee was a fine partner to Molly and a great teacher to his offspring. I hope he did not suffer. It was best the other eggs did not get a chance to hatch as Molly would have had to give up on being the sole support to them. It is a very sad event, but has also been a rewarding one and an educational one. Thank you for bringing this into my world. May McGee be in eternal peace.

  290. VSue Says:

    ((((Hugz))))) and <3 to everyone…
    Watching "Leggz" McGee was so much fun!

    His spirit flying free
    And memories make me so happy
    may the memories fill you with comfort and joy too…

  291. Susan Cohn Says:

    Donna, Carlos, and Molly,

    Please accept my deepest sympathy for your losses. Molly, McGee and their young have given so much happiness and wonder to so many. True it is a part of nature, but it sure is the sad part. Thank you for letting us all know,

    Susan Cohn

  292. camperfamily Says:

    I remember the day my daughter came home from school and told me about an owl who was sitting her eggs and we could watch! I remember the long nights and all the new friends I made. I remember the San Marcos picnic and all the wonderful people who came out to meet Carols and Donna. I have a wonderful picture with both of my daughters standing next to Carlos, so proud to have been there!
    My tears are fogging my eyesight…
    Thank you Carlos and Donna for all your time and love.
    Thank you to all the MODS for making my late nights so much fun!
    Thank you Molly and McGee!
    Hugs to all!

  293. Colleen Ireland "IrisheyesCanada" Says:

    We don’t know that McGee is “RIP”….do we??? He may just be missing, lost, on a long mission??? I can’t think the worst, he must be out there somewhere!!! He is such a beautiful specimen of a male barn owl.

  294. joym13 Says:

    ((((hugs)))) to all the fellow Molly and McGee family

  295. BonnieKay Says:

    Like everyone I opened my E-Mail for the good news of another egg hatching. Thank you for all you have shared with us over the past years. It is a sad day but one we knew would come. Lets not forget all the good days and night watching our beautiful owls. We’ve learned so much and loved so much. Now we must let go and keep our memories. Memories that will forever make me smile. Love to all Bonnie

  296. Debgboo Says:

    No words… thinking of all who have shared in the life of Molly and McGee

  297. Mary Linden Says:

    Oh beautiful one,
    Piercing Dark eyes,
    Master Hunter,
    You will live on in our hearts.

  298. Becky Says:

    so so sad and tears………

  299. A lot of my friends have followed these owls for a long time now. This is so sad. Maybe Rhonda L is looking after McGee…I’d like to think so. She enjoyed them so much :**( as did the rest of us.

  300. It just amazes me that a pair of Barn Owls on the internet could capture my heart and become part of my life. I thank you for that Carlos and Donna. You have mentioned their life span a couple of times and I knew deep down that the time was drawing close but I was in denial that it would happen. I even wondered if this was why you weren’t broadcasting again. I’m glad you didn’t as this would have made this tragic event even more unbearable than it already is.
    We are now left with our memorabilia, our memories and our new found friends sharing the loss with you both.

    Much love

  301. JD Says:

    I just read the update and I am shocked! I am hoping that McGee is out there, alive, somewhere! I am happy to say that I have been watching from the beginning.

  302. Gisela Says:

    I’m in shock and disbelief that Molly is the only survivor of Clutch 4. I have to let it sink in that this faithful couple is no more and none of the eggs have survived. Nature is cruel. I hope she’ll find another mate although McGee is probably a hard act to follow. My condolences to everyone who has been following the dramas of Molly and McGee and my thanks to the Royals for allowing us to witness them.

  303. erindort Says:

    Carlos, Donna, and Austin,

    I felt I had to make a second post. I cannot get you three sweet people out of my thoughts.
    Knowing how fond we MODs became McGee and Molly, I can only imagine the affection you felt towards them. It is indeed strange how attached we can become to animals. I am so sad for you; always remember that to us you are very dear.

  304. Ginny Says:

    We had a wonderful time with Molly and McGee and their clutches. Thank you for sharing the experience with us. We are saddened that what we hoped to be won’t. We will miss seeing them raise their young but we do have the DVDs, books, framed prints, tiles, photos and all of your posts to remember the experience. Thank you so much. Please keep us in the loop with the birds in your life and especially with Molly.

  305. Sherry Kelly Says:

    Dear Royals including Molly, Your sadness is shared by so many of us MODs. Words cannot really express what our hearts feel at hearing this news. Although we know it is all a part of the circle of life, it is still difficult. I treasure the sweet, special memories of this special owl named McGee. Please, keep us informed.

  306. JKW Says:

    My heart hurts for the owls; for the Royals and all the MODS. Thank you for the love, caring and friendship. The greatness of everything that has taken place between peoples and because of the caring of the Royal family. . . shows we cannot give up on the world just yet. Many ((((Hugs)))) and Blessings, JanKW


    WAIT NOW==========WAIT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!! Have you spotted a BODY? Is McGee just being a DUDE? He could have found some other(s) to make whoopie with,,,,Im sorry, I dont believe he is GONE GONE GONE. WONT believe it.
    As far as her 4th clutch,,,,,,,,is that any absolute too? She could have one,,,,,,,even 2 eggs that are OK.
    Me always a positive thinker,,,,,,,,,,gosh it was FAB being with them for the 3 clutches,,,,,,,,,lets ALLLLLL cross our fingers and hope and PRAY that all is A-OK!!!!!!!
    Thank you mucho cOWLos and Donna n Austin

    =======TOPPSY====Fairfield, CA

  308. Fawnskin Deb Says:

    This is such sad news. I want to thank Carlos, Donna & Austin for opening up a whole new world to me. I spent countless hours watching Molly and McGee. I was hooked from the first clutch. I have lots of Molly & McGee calendars, books, etc. to remember how special it all was. The picnic in San Marcos was so nice. All of the owl watchers are such nice people. As one chapter ends, another begins. We just found out that we have a baby eagle here in Fawnskin to watch. It won’t be nearly the same as Molly & McGee tho. The Royals and their owls will always hold a very special place in my heart. I will never forget. Very special memories!

    Fawnskin Deb

  309. Glenn Rosson Says:

    I’m so sorry. I didn’t know McGee as well as others but as I learned of the events I was truly moved. These are beautiful creatures and thank you for helping us all by sharing thier lives with us. Family is family and love is everything.

  310. Ericka Says:

    I know that this is the way nature works, but it is still heartbreaking. I am so sad right now. I wonder what will happen to Molly? Will she stick around? What happens to the eggs now? I feel so blessed that I have been a part of this journey for the past few years. If it wasn’t for Molly, McGee and the Royals, I would know nothing about Barn Owls. And thank you Carlos for keeping us updated.

  311. Susan D. Belloff Says:

    I always knew this could happen but for a while I think I had come to think of Molly and McGee as indestructible. So when I opened this email, the news of the loss of McGee came as a terrible shock. I learned so much from the Owl Box and because of it acquired a special fondness for owls. Thank you again, Carlos, Donna and Austin for sharing Molly and McGee with us. It was such a special time for so many people. I am so sad…for Molly, for clutch four, for the Royals and for all of us. But I am also so glad I had the chance to share the life of two wild owls in an owl box thousands of miles from my home.
    Carlos, thank you for letting us know with such kind and gentle words.

  312. marylynt Says:

    Because of the selflessness of some lovely people we all over the world shared some very wonderful moments and made a wonderful new family all our own. What power such a delicate creature had. My thoughts, hugs, tears, condolences to all MODS everywhere and to Molly.
    Nature is not always kind but good or bad it is a beautiful thing.

  313. yayowls Says:

    Thanks again for sharing the magical experience of the owl box.

    Farewell McGee……

  314. Janeen In TN Says:

    My heart breaks with the sad news you have shared. I have to remember though all of the happiness that Molly and McGee and their owlets gave me and what a world they opened up for me. McGee~ what a good provider and mate your were to Molly and your young. May you rest in peace.

    It is natures way, but it sure does hurt.

  315. Carlos,
    My condolences to you both. I have learned much since you have displayed Molley’s box on the internet which installed for you. Thank you. My point here is that I now am recommending a minimum of two nest boxes at every installation. His and hers.This due to the fact that the male is not allowed in the nest box when the female has eggs or chicks. This I learned watching your wonderful site.

    Having a “man cave” for the male saves him from the murderous crows and other avian predators. Now if we can ban rodenticides and get some insulation on the power poles, we may find some peace of mind for our “guardian angels”.
    Warmest Regards, Tom Stephan.
    Checking just now for typos, I can hear the male from my box clicking and a hearty screech for the female as if to say “Hi dear, I’m coming in with din din!

    • joly2u Says:

      Good idea to ban rodenticides & insulate the power poles. Molly fans would make a very large “lobby” group.

    • PegRod Says:

      When barn owls lived in barns, I guess the father had his own corner in the barn. What an interesting idea, but I wonder if any local females would claim the second box? McGee and his “Man Cave” is always an image I will remember from VacaDude’s “A MOD;s Journal” as well the image of McGee with a tear in his eye for the Father’s Day cartoon.

  316. I am in tears and shock that our beloved McGee is no more. Molly must feel so abandoned and alone with this huge loss. I hope she finds a new mate soon.

    Thanks again Carlos and Donna for opening your hearts and owl box to the world. Your family has brought such joy to me and countless others.

    I will always remember Leggs McGee and his nocturnal visits of love and food, what female can resisit that combination? Not Molly!

    • Debi Rae Rock Says:

      remember how we all worried McGee was “hurting” Molly or we worried he would smash an egg or squish a baby–never happened—boy he could be “beastly”. I remember when she returned his dinner once by throwing it at him and refusing his advances—so human—lol—they were just a joy to watch.

  317. Diana Knoblock Says:

    I just heard the very sad news about M&M and the fourth clutch. I can’t stop cring and my heart is breaking. I’m so sorry Carlos, Donna and Austin. M&M got me started on this wonderful jorney with barn owls. I never thought that something would happen to our beautiful McGee. I hope Molly will stay around. Please keep us posted. Thanks so much for all you did with these wonderful barn owls.

  318. Ranyart Says:

    Wings high McGee – You were much loved.

    Condolences and much love to Molly.

    Carlos, Donna, Austin – Thank you for everything – It was singularly touching experience I’ll never ever forget.

  319. Ruth Says:

    My feelings have been expressed over and over in the above comments. I especially want Carlos and Donna to know how VERY much I appreciate their love and sharing of this experience. Your unselfishness blessed many, many people!
    THANK YOU! I’m sure God will take care of Molly.

  320. Jane Duckett Says:

    If all fathers were as devoted as McGee, the world would be a better place.

  321. Coach Says:

    What sad news to wake up to here in Japan. Through tears and sadness for not only McGee but for Molly and her her little family, I will always be thankful for all the memories McGee has given us. Carlos, Donna and Austin, you’re in my thoughts and prayers, your warm heart and generosity gave them a home where they were able to raise three beautiful clutches. Soar high and free McGee, you will always be in my heart.

    With love to the Royals,
    Lucy / Coach

  322. Sandy Knecht Says:

    Sad news indeed! McGee was a beautiful Owl and much loved. I’m glad I have the video and book.

  323. MODS everywhere have lost their best friend in the feathered world tonight. Thank you Carlos and Donna for keeping us apprised of the OB life and I pray that Molly will find strength and another mate if that is to be. Poor McGee. Poor Molly, poor DeeDee.
    God keep watch over Molly and keep her safe. May God bless and keep Carlos and Donna well. Thank you so much. With deep deep sadness. Hoot Gibson (Tricia)

  324. eeyoresue says:

    Mcgee and Molly have bought me so much joy and now sorrow for Molly, carefully touching each egg and gently moving DeeDee. I am sure she misses her magnificent McGee, but admire how she quietly went and did what she had to do to feed her new little one. I ache for the subsequent loss. Thank you so much for taking the time to teach us, Carlos and Donna for sharing the Circle with us. It has been very special.

  325. Kim Gorman Says:

    Carlos, I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to write these words. THANK YOU for telling us the truth, and as quickly as you could. Yes, we were blessed with the three clutches. I hope and pray Molly lives to find another mate at some point, if that is what she desires. Thank you again, Carlos, for helping us through this terrible time. I hope we can all help you, too.

    Kim Gorman

  326. Susan Wode Says:

    I am heartbroken. I know I learned the statistics and have lived the way of the owl from the first days of the first clutch. Yet I still believed the magic of Molly and McGee would keep us from this day, at least for a long, long time. I don’t have the words. I’m so sorry Carlos, Donna and Austin. Thank you for the gift of the owlbox and please let us know about Molly. I am so worried and feel so bad for her for all she has lost all at once.

    Love to all who have loved Leggz and his family, from your lurking Alabama cousin Susan, aka Catsmeowl.

  327. Charlotte Says:

    Rest in peace McGee. Although I knew this day would come, I could not have imagined it would be so pianful. I’m sure it is the same for many of you also.
    My thoughts and prayers are with Carlos, Donna, Austin and Eric. Thank you is not enough for all the joy and education you have so generously provided us by sharaing Molly and McGee.
    I hope this is not the end of our journey together, but a pause on which to reflect.

  328. Diana T. Says:

    Dear Carlos & Donna: So sad to hear and I guess you really have to be a bird lover to really feel the pain. I remember way back when I got introduced to the first clutch in 2010. I was walking through chemotherapy for breast cancer. Molly, McGee, Max,Pattison,Austin & Westly helped make my days “bearable”. People you think will be there, aren’t and the surprises God sends like these darling owls help you make it through the long nights. Westly was a blast. Thanks for sharing their lives, thanks for sharing yours. I have both signed hard covered books on my coffee table and will always cherish them… God Bless all of you.

  329. Elizabeth Sprague Says:

    My heart is broken. Leggs McGee is gone, The 4th clutch is gone and Molly is alone. No mate or owletts to fill her life. She must be so confused and lost. She an McGee taught us so much about life in general and owl life in particular. They will always be in my memories. Thank you Carlos and Donna for sharing them with the world. Thank you Austin for all you did to help bring Molly and McGee into our lives. ~Spragadoo~

  330. Kathy Weed Says:

    This is such sad news. My heart is broken thinking of how Molly must have felt having to choose to leave her clutch to find food for herself and DeeDee. The circle of life is painful, but we must balance the sadness with the joy of Molly and McGee’s legacy, not only of their many offspring but for the thousands of people who became owl lovers thanks to Carlos, Donna and Austin. No words can convey how thankful I am to you for sharing. RIP McGee, DeeDee and unhatched eggs, may you now fly free over the Rainbow Bridge.

  331. Diane Bowen Says:

    After following Molly and McGee for the first 2 clutches, I feel very sad that this is the end of Molly & McGee. What will happen to Molly? I’m so happy that I was able to learn so much about these beautiful creatures and the owl family I have met through them. I will miss the updates and everything about them. Thank you so much for bringing us this amazing family of owls. Hugs, Diane Bowen (Dbone)

  332. Sally in Aus Says:

    Such a beautifully and sensitively written tribute…Thank you Carlos.It must have been hard for you and Donna to make this discovery and see Molly and her owlets struggle on alone.I too have tears for them but they have given SOOOOO MUCH to the world and the appreciation for nature.I contribute this quote as it sums life up for me…………………………………………

    “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”
    Rachel Carson –

  333. Carol Stanley Says:

    So sorry to hear this news Carlos. I can’t imagine how sad it must be for the two of you. McGee will be missed. He taught us so much. I hope Molly finds another mate and comes back to the box. We knew this would come but it is still a sad time. Hope you will stay in touch.

  334. Janet Hitchens Says:

    My heart is heavy and the tears keep coming. Leggs was a devoted mate and dad and will be missed by so many of us. Hope there are more blessings to come in Molly’s life as she grieves so many losses all at once. Thank you again to Carlos, Donna and Austin for bringing Molly and McGee into our lives. We have watched, learned, shared, laughed, cried and found amazing new friends along the way. What a gift!

    RIP McGee.

    Hugs to all.
    Janet Hitchens (samaramom)

  335. Charles DeBerry Says:

    Dearest Carlos, Donna, Austin and Royal Family;
    My heart aches especially for You, and all I can say at this moment is (Thank You) for the precious and wonderful gift that you shared so (lovingly) with so many grateful people around the World…As we shared in your Joy, we also share your pain and your grief…Sorrow and grief will fade and lessen someday, but the Joy that we shared will never fade away…
    Carlos, Donna and Austin, Blessings to you always, and to MODS Worldwide my deepest sympathy…

  336. Liz and Ron (LizOregon) Ashland, OR Says:

    Oh! Such sad news. We will never forget “Legs” McGee and the first clutch. Each night we chatted with fellow owl addicts while we waited for his deliveries (“Incoming!”) and “bonding” with Molly. It was an amazing experience to see these beautiful owls in action and share the experience with others.

    Thank you Carlos and Donna and Austin for making this beautiful memory possible. We share your grief.

  337. Carlos, Donna, Austin & fellow MODs,
    I join you in grief this sad night. McGee was a beautiful owl, attentive mate, excellent provider and a patient daddy. It was a privilige to witness him raise two clutches with Molly thanks to your webcam, Carlos.
    Through watching his journey with Molly, we MODs have made good friends around the world. Isn’t that wonderful? Those friendships will endure, just like our beautiful memories of McGee.
    Godspeed, winged angel.

  338. Donna Simonson, "OwlLuver" Murrieta, CA Says:

    “To Live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” Thomas Campbell

    “May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind be ever at your back.
    May the sun and moon shine warm upon your face.
    And the rains fall softly on your fields.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.”

    “On a clear moon lightened night sky, you can see forever and hear the wind behind your father’s wings. . . ”

    Carlos, Donna and Austin,
    You have always taught us to trust mother nature and she will teach us in joy and sorrow. . . With McGee’s passing we have learned all we need to know. . .

    My dearest Owlbox friends,
    I join you all with tears remembering 2 years of so much family faith, hope and love for our experience at the Owlbox. I stand with all of you across the world tonight as we mourn our loss.

    Love, hugs, tears and prayers “owlways” to the Royal family, Molly’s family and my Owlbox friends here who gathered once more at the Owlbox in San Marcos, CA.

    I must go now and remember . . .,I love you all.
    “OwlLuver” Murrieta, CA

  339. Ruth O'Neil Says:

    I can only echo the comments made above. Your tribute was wonderful, Carlos. I share everyone’s sorrow.


  340. Pam K. Says:

    I am deeply saddened to hear this news. When Carlos and his family started to show Molly and McGee, my mom and I instantly became in love with the owls and the babies they had. I was lucky to get the bookmarks and the two books that were made and will cherish them more now than ever! I am sad for Molly losing her partner and now alone. My heart goes to Carlos and his family as im sure they too became family to them. We the viewers and fans will all be heart broken over the loss but im sure I can speak for all when I say thank you Molly, Carlos and family for sharing the most wonderful experience one could ever imagine for the love and life of the precious barn owls!!!
    May happiness find you again molly and carlos and family, fans and viewers.
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us and deeply sorry for the loss.

    PAM K.

  341. Nora (couleedam) Says:

    Carlos, Donna & Austin – you introduced me to barn owls, you introduced the world to Molly & McGee and from that experience the world has forever been changed with more and more owl boxes and many more people appreciating barn owls. Many of us grieve with you, and many of us laughed with you and we are so glad to be a small part of it.

    Hugs and <3s to you!!!

  342. OC Says:

    McGee may be gone, but the wonderful memories will live on forever in my heart. Fly silent Leggz. My thoughts are with you all, now I just have to stop crying.

    Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for all you have given us.


  343. Debbie Says:

    We feel we’ve lost a beloved member of the family, McGee was such a spectacular and special owl. Molly and McGee and their owlets touched our hearts and lives in an almost magical way. For the first clutch we stayed up all night waiting for the first owlet to hatch. I remember watching Mollie and her owlets for long periods of time – filled with such peace and contentment. And McGee, always the provider and faithful partner.
    Thank you for sharing. Hopefully we will see Mollie again one day.

  344. robert barr Says:

    Sorry for your loss, we just lost o e of a oair of red shouldered hawks that successfully raised three clutches in our backyard. Found one of them dead in the yard about two weeks after they mated for the last time. Sad, but now have a. Active nest of young blue jays to watch fledge.

  345. Cheryl Gordon Says:

    This is indeed sad news. We always knew the end would come one day, but at least McGee’s legacy will live on in his offspring and in our hearts. In the meantime, perhaps Molly will find a new mate, and have new owlets. Goodbye Leggs,
    Fly free forever

  346. Alyse Says:

    To Carlos, Donna, Austin –
    Thank you (sincerely, and more than I can say) for the incredible, unique, and valuable experience you have provided to all of us. McGee was a magnificent owl, and many hearts are breaking over his loss. What an education we gained from Molly and McGee, and what fun we had in the process – sheer joy. We will never forget Leggs McGee. Ever.
    Hugs to all MODS, Alyse

  347. Cindy McNash Says:

    Carlos, Donna, and Austin,
    So hard to type thru tears… my deepest sympathy to you, as bad as we MODS are hurting(and it is very bad) you must be hurting even more. I have been around since the day after Max hatched, and so fell in love with M and M. The grace and love they showed the entire world was astounding. I am forever grateful to you all for opening up a world of nature to me that I otherwise would have never known. God bless you, and poor Molly. We love her so. I feel as though I have lost a family member. To my fellow MODs, much love, and big hugs ((((((((((((((((((((MODS)))))))))))))))))))).

    Godspeed, and fly high and free, beautiful Leggs McGee.

    Cindy Lamb

  348. Debi Rae Rock Says:

    I ordered the 1st e-book, then I THOUGHT I ordered the new pix book but got the printed ebook instead. Wish I could get the pix book and the CD now. But I will always have the great memories of the commeradery and the joy that Carlos and family gave the world, glad I was part of it. Debi Rae Rock and Sir Copper-top

  349. Jill (NightOwlet) Says:

    Sad beyond words here, Carlos and Donna, having just read your email. My heart is broken at the loss of McGee and the little ones.

    To have had the privilege of sharing Molly and McGee’s life was a treasure I will forever cherish. I will never forget the day sweet baby Max came into this world — an incredibly precious little fellow who made himself at home in our hearts, as did all the rest of his brothers and sisters down the line.

    Thank you so very much for allowing us this exquisite journey, and we can only hope and pray that Molly will eventually find another loving partner and perhaps even come back “home” to you again one of these days….

  350. Nancy Says:

    I have been weeping non-stop since I opened my e-mail almost 3 hours ago to find your Tribute to McGee, Carlos. My love and prayers reach across the USA to you and Donna and Austin, and all of our friends affected with MOD. The Owl box has filled many a lonely and grief-stricken night for me since my Sweetheart died February 26, 2011. We had been married less than 12 years and the “Sounds of the Owlbox” and your voice was a lifeline that God gave me to see me through those dark times. The friendships that I found there peopled my empty home. I am so thankful for the joy and hope that you and they and Molly, McGee and their precious owlets brought into my life.
    Great love always holds the potential for great pain, but the love and joy it brings is more than worth all the sorrow and grief it portends. I gladly choose life and great love with all that goes with it. Thank you for honestly sharing the intimate details as they unfolded, with us your Owl Box family. We grieve together as we celebrated together. It is the TOGETHER that gives meaning to it all. You and we, and Molly and McGee, precious always in memories.
    God’s comfort and peace to all of us as we complete our journeys.
    Love and prayers, Nancy aka dyamondthreetobefree in NE PA

  351. kpanda Says:

    I wish we could help Molly.

  352. Beth Terry Says:

    Carlos and the Royal family, thank you for this wonderful glimpse into nature that few of us would have shared. I found myself crying as I read this tribute. We all got so attached to Molly and McGee, and now my heart breaks for her as she lost her last clutch. I hope we will see her again. We have been so fortunate to discover you and you have been so generous to share your little bird world with us. Bless you.

    I wrote a blog as well about McGee. I hope that’s OK. Sending my readers to this one and to the Ustream site. I recently lost my two Chihuahuas. They used to sit on my lap as we watched the owls together. So to lose McGee so soon after was heartbreaking. My Xena is reporting from the Rainbow Bridge and has spotted McGee there. She said he is holding court and all the other barn owls are celebrating him.

    And, as you say, it’s the circle of life. I am so honored to have been a part of it.

  353. Joanne Geller Says:

    This has been a most amazing journey. I’m devastated with this
    news. Donna and Carlos….. thank you both for giving me, my friends and family one of the sweet experience lessons of wild life. Without your devoted efforts this never would have been possible. I’m so very sad.
    Bless you!
    Joanne Geller Woodland Hills, CA.

  354. Kathe Camp Says:

    I just got on my computer and am shocked to hear that Legs McGee was gone. I watched all of the family and first clutch and checked every so often for more news of Molly and McGee. They were perfect in all ways. We learned more watching them every day. I cry for McGee, this last clutch and Molly who has to go on without her true love. God has McGee and will give him star treatment. Thank you Carlos for the richness we received from these beautiful owls.

  355. Nancy Hartnell (themauimom53) Says:

    My heart is broken….. I can’t thank you enough for sharing that wonderful picture of little DeeDee the other day. Knowing how sad I feel, I can only imagine the sorrow you must feel as well. Grief is difficult and you will need time to go through the emotions. Know that so many think of you and your family (including Molly) with loving and caring thoughts and prayers. With my sympathies…..

  356. Rita Massey Says:

    So sad, but I am grateful there were three beautiful successful clutches and we were able to share in this incredible experience. My heart goes out to Molly. I hope she gets a new mate and carries on.

  357. Laurel Lemke Says:

    I saw the beautiful photos posted by Yvonne of New Orleans on Facebook and was going to share about the wonderful owls, then I noted that this was a tribute to McGee. I looked up the blog and was very touched by the caring and gentle way that Carlos described Molly’s sad discovery.

    I have learned so much through the Royals, about owls, about preserving nature, philanthropy about nurturing talented grandchildren and about a positive outlook on life.Sharing adventures like field trips. And the value of life and connection.

    Thank you,


  358. Laurel Lemke Says:

    P.S. I teach in an inpatient population. I introduced my groups to Molly and McGee via Ustream and Austin’s first movie. When the broadcasts were happening, patients would ask me daily, “How are the owls doing?” I really appreciated the outreach that was done to schools,.

  359. Susan Says:

    I am so sad.

  360. JoyLA Says:

    Incredible sadness at news that our handsome McGee may be gone. I have been a member of this viewing family since the first clutch and it has indeed been an incredible journey…. Little owls touched many hearts and left sweet memories for us.

  361. Darleen Entrican Says:

    My heart hurts tonight fior Carlos, Donna, Austin and Molly. I watched from the middle of the first clutch and fell in love with this owl family. Its so sad but it is nature. The Royal family has given much to this world and we all have lots of memories of this family. Darleen

  362. CatsMommy aka CatPerry Says:

    This is so sad, and the way you described Molly’s ways really made my heart soar with love for her, she truly is a good mother. Life and Death is on the circle of Life and as hard as it is to accept death we must honor it. Blessing to you both and all my love to Molly and McGee where ever he has landed, as well as their offspring.

  363. Breezy Says:

    I feel such sadness for Molly in the loss of her magnificent, McGee and her newest babies. Equally so for Carlos, Donna and Austin, as those owls were their family too and so much love and devotion and effort was expended on their care and habitat. I, like some of the others would like to believe that Molly and McGee’s other babies are flying over the Owl Box to keep and eye on Molly and bring her comfort. I will pray that Molly finds another wonderful mate and continues on to live a long and good life. If God’s eye is always on the sparrow, it is certainly on Molly too.
    My condolences also to all of the owl lovers who made this magical journey all the more special.
    With a heavy heart,

  364. Carol Layman Says:

    I feel incredably sad. The same as the loss of one of my own pets. I am so very grateful to have experienced the joy of the 2010 Easter season with the first clutch and now this Easter season is filled with sadness at the loss of McGee and the 4th clutch.
    Thank you Carlos and Donna for bringing the wonder of wildlife into our homes and our hearts.
    I will miss McGee. What will happen to Molly now? Will she leave the owl box now for good and will other owls move in?
    Carol Layman, Pollock Pines, CA

  365. Marny Says:

    My heart is sad … and it makes me happy to know McGee and Molly and owlets live in the books and DVD that I purchased.

    Gentle as you go, dear McGee. {{{Molly}}} you did your best.

    aka Marny
    in Vista – down the road a bit …

  366. Lizuk Says:

    In Memory of McGee were the saddest words to wake up to. Like everyone else I’m devastated, he was a magnificent owl – poor Molly. Thank you Carlos for breaking the news to us and thank you so much to you and Donna for everything – giving up your time to let us share in the lives of Molly and McGee. I feel very privileged but so sad.

  367. Paula P Says:

    I join the people here in expressing my sadness to you, Carlos, Donna and family. I know there are so many hearts that are aching right now. Peace to you all.


  368. Phil Phillips Says:

    My sincerest condolences to Molly, Carlos and Donna and to the entire Owl Box Family.

  369. Elaine & Keith Says:

    So sad, thanks to Carlos for telling us must have been very hard for you.

  370. joly2u Says:

    I feel so sorry for Molly. She lost her whole family, all at once, and now is basically alone in the world and not as young as she used to be. I am glad for her sake that it is in early spring, when food is most plentiful. As least she got that grace. And maybe there is a lonely male looking for a famous wife! But I wonder if she would go with him rather than him with her.

    I knew we were on borrowed time, but it still is a matter of real grief – yet joy, that because of you, we got to know these owls as perhaps no owls had been known before. What a precious, mind-altering experience!

    Whatever happens, Carol and Donna, I know this sounds too corny – but we feel as though we know you, even those of us that you do not know. So I hope you will, whatever happens, still send your extended family a “postcard” now and then. And who knows, maybe there is more adventure ahead. As others have said, I, too, hope some family member(s) will still be in the world’s most famous owl box!

    The picture you verbally painted of Molly finding that Dee Dee and the remaining eggs had died was so very touching. My heart and prayers will be with her.

    Thanks, Carlos. You’re a real class act. Please keep us in the loop.

    • joly2u Says:

      What happened to the “edit” button? “Carlos” not “Carol”!

      Maybe we’ll get a new song for this sad event, and no doubt something from VacaDude.

  371. Solshne Car Says:

    So sad, funny how they creep into your heart, I miss our Barn Owl clutches, even McTrubble who insisted in jumping out of the box before it was time for him to fly – fun putting him back in lol

  372. peakspike Says:

    It is with great sadness that I learn the news of McGee.

    I will never forget the magic of the 1st clutch and the happiness that Molly and McGee brought to so many of us. Thank you Donna and Carlos for the magic ride we had for so long. Condolences to all. Remember the magic of Molly and McGee!

  373. Cheryl Says:

    I’m am so sorry to hear of this terrible loss, and at a time when Molly was taken care of Dee Dee and the eggs. My heart ached as I read the news and could not help but well up with tears. Thank you Carlos and Donna for sharing, as tough as it was to let us all know. McGee will be missed, and I hope Molly will continue on and find a new mate. God Bless, and I know McGee is soaring the skies of Heaven. :(

  374. Barb Says:

    Molly and McGee what a awesome chapter you have blessed us with in our lives. From the beginning I was your number 1 cheerleader. Boy did I let people know what they were missing by not tuning in and getting a real education first hand on your precious lives.
    Many, many tears have I cried for my owl family but nothing like the sting of losing McGee…..
    My love and sympathy to all my owl family on our loss but especially to Carlos, Donna and Austin. My heathful thanks for opening up the world to us on this magnificent family.

  375. Mindy Says:

    I am so sorry to hear this news. I loved watching Molly & McGee. Hopefully Molly will find another mate and continue to use the owlbox. All the best to you Carlos & Donna.

  376. Lynn (ladyvet47) Says:

    Deep sorrow and an unimaginable sense of loss have overtaken me this morning. My heart breaks for Molly, the wonderful Royals, and all my beloved brother snd sister MODs. Peace and love to all.

  377. wigmaof3 Says:

    Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for welcoming us to your home and for all your hard work and dedication to teach so many about the common Barn Owl. It is with sadness yet fond memories that I remember my first experience with Molly and Magee. I joined your fabulous broadcasts for the birth of the 2nd clutch. Ashley and Carrie will always be with me, with the fabulous coffee table book I bought. Molly and Magee are forever memorialized in those pages.
    Even though we realize this is the ebb and flow of life in the wild, we are saddened to realize a chapter of our OWN lives is forever closed.

    wigmaof3 (now 4)

  378. Cheryl A. in NYC Says:

    Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for sharing both the good and the sad as it is all part of the experience. I will never forget the joy of watching Molly, McGee and all the little ones.
    Rest in Peace McGee…

  379. Sue Says:

    Carols and Donna,
    As I read this post I too have tears running down my cheeks—it has been an awesome ride with Molly and McGee and all of their owlets!!!
    But all good things must come to an end. I will always be grateful for all you have done to bring this wonderful experience to millions of people and I will always remember the good times by looking at all of the pictures I have of all of the Owls!!! Thanks again for everything–
    Much love to you both

  380. Jannae (owl_see) Says:

    With joy comes sadness and many hearts are sad to hear this news. We should never take our animal friends for granted, and cherish all that they bring to our lives. I never knew owls were so wonderful until Molly & McGee came into my life. Thank you Carlos and Donna for sharing them with the world. It was a fun, entertaining, and educational experience filled with joy, picnics, and fun watching them day and night as they raised their little owlets. The sadness is here right now, but the memories will always be in my heart and mind.

  381. patty Says:

    Molly and McGee were so special. I followed them from the first clutch and have their pictures hanging in my house. I loved them and hope that Molly can carry on without McGee. Love to all the owl lovers who feel like I do and to the Royal family for sharing an amazing journey with all of us. Please keep us posted as to how Molly does :) Thank you <3

  382. I’m truly sad and the tears will not stop, I remember the first clutch, Patterson, Austin, Wesley, Omg this is sad, I was going though so much at the time of there birth. My co-worker got me addicted to these owls, it was dear to me due to the fact this is my Mom favorite animal, she has them thoughtout her home due to her saying I need to be around wise people. I now understand what she meant. Carlo, Donna, Austin, I was homeless when they came to your home and they gave me unbeliveable hope. I watch them daily and I would get so excited to see them progress. I still have there pictures up as screen savers to remind me of what I’ve been though. I now have brought a home that God has provided for me. God has provided McGee with his new home and we will forever have a watchful eye on Molly and her children.
    Thanks McGee for life again. I will truly miss you and Ms Molly just being you.
    To all the wonderful people I’ve said Good Morning to, I have a special place in my heart for you as well. See I’m Nigerian American and we all loved something together, I pray we continue to love each other and respect each other we all have so much in common, loving things that God has put on this earth.

  383. Rose Says:

    I was just heartbroken this morning when I saw Carlos’ email. I always thought of myself not being a bird person but I sure learned to love Molly and McGee and the little fuzzballs. Life goes on but we can still be sad. McGee was such a good hubby and father. He always provided for his family. And Carlos, Donna and Austin, we all can not thank you enough for bringing this to the world to watch these beautiful barn owls. Thank you!

  384. Janet Tamarak Says:

    An awesome journey indeed! Blessed with being part of the viewing community since inception, it’s with a heavy heart that I hear the news of McGee and the 4th clutch.
    This time with Molly, McGee and their family(s) has also given much untold joy and delight for I am sure there are many who have benefited from the deep connection that Carlos and Donna have shared with so many.
    Thank you for this wonderful experience. So much good has come from this one connection.
    What a wonderful journey with untold adventures to come.

  385. owloverbo Says:

    i have no word just emptiness. around my neck is my McGee and the moon pendant and i keep touching it and tears come to my eyes.
    Yesterday elation with an owlet and utter dispair and sadness today.
    Carlos, Donna, Mods and everyone I grieve with you but also SMILE at all that he and you brought positive to my life.

  386. Cat Says:

    So sorry for your loss :(

  387. Stuart Clark Says:

    Hi,is it at all possible that i could use the photo of Mcgee for a sketch ?

  388. Cheryl in KCMO Says:

    I so enjoyed the years I spent watching Molly and McGee and getting to know their different clutches. I can only say thank you to Carlos and Donna for giving us this priviledge. While McGee may be gone, his memory will live on as will several owls he raised.

  389. Cindy Says:

    So sorry to hear this news! Two years is such a short time for an average lifespan but think of the impact the owls have made! The barn owl family have touched our lives. That is priceless and what the circle of life is all about! Thank you for making it possible, Carlos, Donna and Austin! Your efforts have touched our lives too and we are greatful!

  390. J'Nell Says:

    I join everyone here too, Carlos, Donna and Austin in expressing my deep sympathy to you. It certainly must feel like a loss in the family. My heart aches for this loss.

    Peace and love.

  391. Gail Loveless Says:

    I am so sorry and so sad about the loss. Things happen in nature that we just can’t control. The many hours I in spent in front of my computer watching these magnificant animals will live forever in my memory. McGee and the fourth clutch are now with St. Francis (patron saint of animals). Thank you Carlos and Donna for everything you did.

  392. Ruth Says:

    I am so saddened to hear the news that McGee is missing and the offspring in the fourth clutch have not survived. It’s clear from the comments to the blog today, that Molly and McGee have touched the lives of so many.
    I would like to, once again, thank Carlos, Donna and Austin for putting up the owl box and accomplishing all that went into live-streaming the activities of its occupants. I discovered the owl box at a particularly difficult time in my life. Watching the owls, hearing Carlos’ commentary and interacting with the MODs helped me get through some tough days.
    I learned so much about owls and developed a new appreciation for their high level of intelligence and innate social morality. I look at birds in an entirely different way now and appreciate them so much more than I did before.
    I also want to thank God for His over arching guidance and Carlos for his wisdom in not live-streaming the activities of this fourth clutch. Reading the description of life in the owl box the last few days was extremely painful. I think that watching the events unfold on camera would have been unbearable for most of us.
    So thank you to Carlos, Donna and Austin. Thank you to all the moderators. Thanks to the special contributors like VacaDude, Barleycorn, Eric Blehm, Chris Adams and so many others. Thanks to all the owl loving chatters who made this experience so special.
    I hope Carlos and Donna will still give us updates about the owl box. It would be nice to hear that Molly has found a new mate and her life is continuing.
    Love, blessings and best regards to all,
    Ruthful Ruth

  393. Tammie Franklin Says:

    This news truely BREAKS my heart~ would someone please pass me a Sham WOW? Thank you! I love you McGhee! Molly and all of the owlets! Very heavy heart here, losing our owl family. Thank you Carlos, Donna, Austin, Eric, Vaca – for sharing your wonderful/ awesome talents! I have been a MOD since the 1st clutch and will never forget the wonderful memories. Carlos, thank you for sharing all the updates. Hugs to all owl lovers world wide. What a lesson learned – “To care about the World Around….” thank you Barly for your wonderful songs! Hugs – Tammie, aka Sunshine41

  394. Debbie Says:

    My heart is filled with much sadness. McGee will forever be in my heart and I so enjoyed watching him and Molly. He was a magnificent owl and I loved to watch how he took care or Molly and her clutches. I am so very sorry for your loss and I thank you for sharing the clutches with us.

  395. Nat (natowllover) Says:

    I am completely devastated for you guys and send my love and ((hugs)) to all the Royal family and for all lovers and followers worldwide of Molly and MGee and all their antics . I am from London England and grew to love them.

    Nat (Natowllover)

  396. So the most dreaded has happened… I knew it had to be inevitable, yet the harsh fact makes me sad. There is the acute feeling of loss, of having lost something that had settled in my mind as a warm, heart-rending awareness of good things happening in a world very far from my hometown, yet so close, thanks to you, Carlos en Donna, and your grandson. Now what is left are innumerable, wonderful memories, the knowledge of not being alone in the grief, and the joy of having been a part of something so unexpectedly wonderful as Molly & McGee’s first clutch.
    Thank you so much for sharing, my heart goes out to you, as M&M were and will be family for you, always
    Amsterdam, the Netherlands

  397. Becky Carroll Says:

    So sad to hear about McGee! He will always remain in my heart and my memory. Thank you Carlos & Donna for teaching us the Way of the Owl!!!

    Becky(Owl watching is eggciting)

  398. Oh my my, Carlos and Donna and family – and friends from the Owl Box!!! I loved McGee so much – he was a wonderful creature, a beautiful owl, an inspirational mate and father. He will never be forgotten, and thanks to your lovely website and books, he is immortalized in the Owl Hall of Fame.Thank you for giving him a home, and for sharing him with the world.
    I hope and pray that Molly will find a new mate and soon have a new clutch. If she leaves the box forever, then perhaps some of the Owl children will bring a mate back home to the nest and start the circle of life again.
    In Loving Tribute ~ Jeanne K, OoltewahTN

  399. LuvMolly.. Says:

    Hugs to all my fellow MODS and mods as we mourn the loss of our beloved McGee and to our wonderful loving Molly our hearts go out to her in her sadness… the laughs and joy that we have shared will be with us all our lives and the friends will go on all because Carlos Royal put up an owl box and Molly and McGee found it.. Fly high with our love to support you McGee and we will never forget you…Molly be brave and you will go on and Carlos and Donna there are not enough words to express my gratitude to you for all you have done for all of us… God has a special place saved for the both of you…
    LuvMolly ( Fran)

  400. lilbirdz Says:

    Oh, I how I will miss our brave Leggz McGee. He lived and died by the Way of the Owl, feeding and protecting his family. Thank you for the lessons you taught all of us.

  401. Vicki Says:

    What a loss for all of us. Carlos, Donna, Austin, thank you all so much for helping us hold on to so many beautiful memories. I will be watching Austin’s DVDs over and over again and tearfully paging through the coffee table books. God has given us a wonderous gift in our getting to know all of you; The Royal three, Molly and McGee, their owlets, all the chatters and a yard full of natures wonders.

    Sweet Molly, may you find another wonderful mate and continue to bring gifts of joy to Mother Nature’s family of life and wonder.

    Carlos, keep in touch. We all wrap our arms around you and Donna too!

    Vicki (my5kids)

  402. Kathy Martin Says:

    My heart breaks this morning to hear that McGee wasn’t able to return to Molly and their babies. I feel tremendous sadness that Molly had to make such a difficult decision to hunt resulting in the loss of their owlets. I can’t imagine what she must have gone through knowing McGee wasn’t coming back and loosing her young. We all knew this day was inevitable, but it’s painful none the less. I wish I could give both you, Carlos and you, Donna a great big hug. I know this is a very difficult time. Like loosing one of your own. Molly, McGee and all the owlets changed my life. I work at home in front of my computer and watched everyday as the first clutch hatched all the way until the morning when the vacant sign was posted on the owl box. I’m one of the many that never entered the chat room, the many whom you don’t know, but tuned in everyday. I sang along with all of you whenever you played Barbara’s songs. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of such a special thing. Thank you for sharing the experience with the world. There are countless of us who mourn this loss with you. I now think of Molly, how she’s doing and what will become of her. Will she live out her days in the owl box? Does she return to the box? It would be nice to know. (((hugs)))

  403. Janet - UK Says:

    I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of McGee. They can’t live forever, much as we’d like them to, and the sad loss of the clutch is an unsurprising, if disheartening, result. My best to all whose hearts and lives have been touched by these lovely creatures. Nature and the circle of life are incredibly beautiful – but still have an unattractive side.

  404. Deb Peretti Says:

    As I read the sad news about Molly, McGee, Deedee and the eggs, it took my breath away. It must have been so sad to watch Molly check on Deedee and the eggs for any signs of life. Prayers and Love to All today.

  405. Sheila Says:

    I too was sad to get the update about the news of McGee and the owl box.But with sadness, I feel a great deal of gratitude. First of all to Carlos.You have changed our household. When I Skype with family members, the Molly mask and hand puppets comes out.My family even got accustomed to the Molly songs that played over the computer. Carlos had such cute names for the owls, as well as all of the other cast of characters involved in the owl box story. We use them as household terms now! We met a bellman named Wesley in California on vacation,and had our picture taken with him.You go shopping and owl things are everywhere now.The popularity of owls perhaps started here! Then the countless of hours that the Royals spent taking pictures, and video and Carlos going live,”This is Carlos Royal coming to you from the owl box San Marcos, CA”……… Carlos is really one of the good guys in America.I love his outlook on life….so positive. And I love the picture he painted for us that there were owls circling in the sky above the box.Some how paying tribute and saying…God has everything under control.

  406. OUBobcat (barb) Says:

    Royal Family: We knew this day would come..but there are no words coming…Thank you for the memories. Love Barb

  407. Melanie Says:

    There is so much sadness in my heart today. But, the joy I retained from watching Molly and McGee nurture their clutches from the very first day will remain with me always. Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for lifelong memories.

  408. Bethie57 Says:

    Just received the sad news. So sorry to read about McGee and the 4th clutch.
    Thanks Carlos, Donna and family for your devoted efforts from the first clutch onwards. So much joy expressed worldwide over these magnificent owls as we watched their day to day lives.
    Take care all and remember the happy times.


  409. Kim - FL Says:

    Simply said – my heart aches for all. Hope to hear better news in the future of Molly sightings

  410. karen plate Says:

    I just got home and saw this. I am crying my eyes out:(:(:( Carlos, Donna, and Austin~ your hearts must be just busted in two:( I am sending hugs and love to all of you. Thank You all for giving us Molly and Legg’s McGee and all their babies…and all the friendships you brought together. I cherish you and all<3

    Blessings~ Karen

  411. whitedog01 Says:

    So sad. Nature can be so hard. Mcgee was a beautiful and still a beautiful Owl. He is soaring in the heavens watching over Molly and the family and watching over us. Carlos, Donna and Austin he is especially watching over you. In his way he is thanking you for sharing his family with us and teaching us the way of the owl. We have all been blessed with a truly beautiful experience. Thank you Royals for all that you have done and continue to do.

  412. Mary Says:

    Oh my…tears in my eyes…I cry for them…..

  413. Martha (calliopekid) Says:

    To Carlos, Donna & Austin – my heart is breaking for dear Molly who has lost so much in a few days. Carlos, you kept warning us that this would happen one day but it is so difficult to say goodbye to the charming McGee. May God bless the Royal
    family and bring you comfort at this sad time for all of you.
    Again, my heartfelt thank you for allowing Molly & McGee to become world wide “stars.” All of the siblings who passed on are now with their “dad” McGee.
    Thanks again,
    Martha (calliopekid)

  414. Dianne Says:

    What a sad, sad day……..for sure, was so looking forward to having a peek to these 2 beautiful owls & their fine babes……….!
    I guess Molly has left the owl house then, maybe to search for McGee………if only we could tell her how sorry we are ……!!!
    It was one of life’s pleasures to be able to watch them through your help Carlos, Donna & Austin.

    They & you will be forever in my heart, as I write this through tears……..glad you were home or we would have never known for sure what happened………..Although we don’t know what did happen to McGee……….
    I think maybe he is laying injured but will still make it back ……….. They were a fine example of love their nature……….it was so special …..

    Thank you Carlos, Donna & Austin……….pls keep in touch,I know we are all sad , but I guess it is part of the journey & yes , we did enjoy the journey……..

    Thanks you,
    Hugs to all………Di

  415. zbergie Says:

    Carlos and Donna, I am so sorry this has happened. I hope Molly can find a new mate and continue to keep the Owl Box going. Nature has it’s ways and we just did not think it would happen this soon. Hope we see the Bluebirds this spring.Thank You for all the updates and pictures everyone.

  416. mandozee Says:

    Carlos & Donna: I am slowly listening to the coments on the passing of Legs McGee, I greve with you… thank you for shareing them with me and the world.

    But you, Donna and Auston are family so please keep me and all of us posted on your Blog with stories of your lives and travels you have had this year and the years to come.

    And when owls again make a home in your box. Maybe you will blow the dust off old KOWL and brodcast again. I miss your voice and laugh in my headphones.

    Maybe we could all meet in a Yahoo Messenger conference room and type or talk (if you have a microphone on your computer) you are a great wise storyteller. and I for one miss you.

    My yahoo ID is Mandozee1888

  417. Cheryl Says:

    What a sad day…. Thank you to Carlos and Donna for sharing Molly and McGee with us. Hopefully another young owl family will come to the box, and bring us both the joy and bittersweet sadness in the circle of life.

  418. Lisa Says:

    I could not believe what I was reading as tears ran down my face. McGee was the most handsome barn owl I had ever gotten to know. Hugs to everyone at this sad, sad time. Prayers to Molly and to the Royals. RIP magnificent McGee!

    Thank you Carlos, Donna, Austin for sharing this wonderful family with the world.

  419. Judy Griggs Says:

    This makes me so very sad! With tears in my eyes, I want to say thank you Molly and McGee, owlets and Carlos and Donna for all the joy you brought into my life!

  420. ElaineD-NH Says:

    My heart just sank reading your news regarding McGee. I am fortunate enough to live rurally in NH and see quite a bit of what nature has to offer but these barn owls were special to me.

    My family still refers to my “crazy period” when I sat up night after night, sound turned way up, watching/listening to the sights and sounds of the first clutch Eagarly slurping down my spaghetti while Molly fed the young ones. Listening for the sounds outside the box that would signal McGee’s steadfast return, Molly’s increasing vocal chirpping in the fore front, then we would maddly type away when Cassie barked next store because, for sure, McGeeeeeeee was only moments away… then that wonderful THUNK as he landed on the roof. We were priviledged to witness a glimpse into their lives and we have the Royals to thank for it.

    A young man was able to go to college because of the combined energies of us all – how wonderful!! There is a bitter sweetness to all of this…. I am not sure how a surviving barn owl does after loosing a mate, but you can bet I will be researching this online – another lesson McGee will have taught me even in his death. Thank you, again, Royal Family!

  421. Dear Carlos, Donna and Austin,
    I felt such sadness as I read your blog yesterday evening. I am still processing this news and I don’t want to believe our beautiful McGee is gone. It’s ironic that just a few days ago, Carlos, I think you had written in your blog about how long we have been able to enjoy watching McGee and that he had already lived beyond the average age of most Barn owls.
    I am so thankful I have the beautiful framed ceramic tiles of both McGee and Molly sitting in my living room and your spectacular book of images, Carlos. We all have so many fond memories of our times together watching Molly and McGee. We shared laughter and tears and amazement as we learned together about these beautiful owls. McGee will always be ‘The Most Famous’ daddy owl of all for me and it was all thanks to you Carlos, Donna and Austin for inviting us in… to join in and watch as Molly and McGee raised their their owlets together.
    What an amazing adventure it was too!!!
    Carlos, please if you do hear any reports that McGee has been found could you let us know.
    I will continue to check in at your blog.
    Thank you so much.
    Joanne Borle, Burnaby,BC/Canada
    …. joanne51 in The Owl Box

  422. Napaelle Says:

    tears and more tears….my heart aches for us all, but especially for Carlos, Donna and Austin…. I’m one who goes back to the first clutch and like others, these memories will be with me for a lifetime. I am so grateful and so sad all at the same time today.
    Thank you Carlos for all you shared with us, your webcam, the education you picked up along the way, your photography and your heart. Ellie

  423. Dianne Shoffner Says:

    My heart is hurting and am filled with sadness but there joy also that I had the privilege of get to know Molly and McGee

  424. Jeanie Says:

    Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for sharing the lives of Molly, McGee and all the owlettes, this is the best legacy McGee could ever leave and we were so, so lucky to share it.

  425. Meg McNamara Says:

    I just read Carlos’ blog and I’m very sad at the loss of McGee. I have so much enjoyed learning about Barn Owls from Molly and McGee and their family. I’ve also enjoyed the comments and friendship from all the viewers. For Carlos and Donna and Austin, I can only say “Thank You” for sharing this wonderful slice of life. I hope that Molly can recover from the loss of her wonderful mate and her latest clutch. I’ll keep checking back in hopes of hearing that life goes on for, as it must, for all of us. My condolences to Carlos, Donna, Austin and all the Mods…and mostly for Molly.

  426. Virgene Colby-auntie_vee Says:

    It is a very sad day. We all related to Molly and McGee as our owl family. This is as sad as loosing a beloved pet. Thank you Royal family for sharing all the ups and downs our owl family went through raising their clutches. Please keep us informed if other things are going on with all of your other bird families. We will need a blog now and again because we felt the Royals were our family too.


  427. janie2 Says:

    I have had pet parrots for many years and have lost some along the way. The loss of McGee, DeeDee, and the eggs hurts the same way as losing a pet. I have been praying for our dear Molly and hope to see her again. Big warm soft hugs for
    ((((Carlos, Donna, and Austin)))


  428. Over two years ago I came across a tiny little article in the Dallas Morning News telling of a man in California who was broadcasting the inside of an Owl Box live via computer. That man, Carlos Royal, his wife Donna and Grandson Austin provided an unbelievable look at the wonderful wild barn owls and their offspring. One glimpse and I was hooked! It was absolutely fascinating as I (and thousands and thousands of others) tuned in to begin watching an unbelievable love story, the story of Molly and McGee, two beautiful Barn Owls. We watched day and night, the trials and tribulations, the triumphs and successes of the precious owls as they lived their daily lives in the Owl Box. We all remember the cuddling of Molly and McGee, the eggs, the hatchings, the loving way they raised their owlets, the swallowing of whole mice, the cameras, the cables, the fantastic pictures, CD’s, stories, songs, picnics, T-shirts, cartoons, books, the hello’s and the goodbyes to the owlettes. We remember the rabbits, the spiders, the owl antics and their comings and goings, the MOD chats and the periodic updates, the unforgettably tense moments and so many moments of endearment for all who lurked. Words are not enough to convey the most sincere thanks to the Royal Family for bringing us this remarkable love story. This was a chapter in my life that I will never forget! THANK YOU!!

  429. docroger Says:

    Like everyone else, I am heartbroken.. I grieve for Molly, but I know she will survive. Thank you Carlos and Donna for an amazing journey. Your love, care and tenderness always showed. I watch the other owls, as many do, because of Molly and Magee, but they are different, somehow Molly and Magee, being my first love will always be special. Thank you again and may God bless you. Janet Knapp, Texas

  430. Sue Couch Says:

    I was shocked, stunned and extremely saddened to learn of McGee’s passing and the poor little ones of the 4th cluthch. I feel so sad for Molly and all of us. I have shed many tears over this loss of my family. A dear friend of mine died last year and I feel sadder over McGee’s passing than I did for my friend. How attached we get to our animal friends. Thank you once again for your kindness in sharing so many good times with M&M and their owlets.

    I don’t know enough about owl behavior to know if “widowed” owls take a new mate or not. Perhaps you could let us know. Also I wonder if Molly will continue to inhabit the owl box or move on. I certainly hope so. I like to look at all the wonderful photos of her and remember her in that cool owl box.

    Deep love to you, Donna and Austin. You all have made such a lasting wonderful contribution to the lives of so many, including the owls.

  431. Sandy Says:

    I cannot believe the mod here would delete a post of love for that wonderful owl, just because of past differences. They even said it shows that life is precious – apparently certain human lives don’t qualify in their life. That was totally cruel and uncalled and very unfeeling in this time of sadness – makes me think less and less of these people. Even animals don’t stoop that low to hurt others for spite.

    Well, I’m expressing my condolences to Carlos and Donna and Austin – I have a love for Molly and McGee that would be considered “Love at First Sight”. I will truly miss those wonderful owls and hope someday maybe another pair will come to next at Carlos’ place – he has an awesome, bird friendly yard!! Love you Carlos, Donna and Austin, and McGee, RIP.

  432. Jennifer O'Hara Says:

    Words cannot express my deep sadness over the loss of our precious McGee, little DeeDee and the three angels still in their eggs. I don’t understand the harshness of nature. But I will never forget all the the good times (and the sad times). I’m so happy for the time you gave us with Molly, McGee & 3+ clutches. Thank you for ALL that you shared with us MODs. The love and “sense of family” with you & the MODs will stay with me always. I send love, friendship and most heartfelt sympathy to all of you – Carlos, Donna, Austin and dear sweet Molly.


  433. Linda Lee Says:

    I am feeling profound sadness. I did not know McGee and Molly very well as I have only recently discovered this owl watching pleasure, but sadness is sadness no matter when or where you find out. When a new pair finds this wonderful box to begin their new family we will be very happy, all the while remembering all the memories we have from McGee and Molly. ((( )))

  434. PegRod Says:

    The heartache of grief and loss of McGee and DeeDee and the three egglets is helped by hearing so many memories and healing words from so many MODs and owl lovers who are sharing now with the “community of us”, a term coined by Chris Adams, I think.

    I just wish that we could all comfort Molly the way we can help each other – this is a very sad time of life for Molly to have lost her life mate McGee and her little owlet DeeDee and her warm and alive egglets.

    A quote from Hans Christian Anderson begins with “I never dreamed of so much happiness ….” which is how I feel about The Owl Box experience of San Marcos, CA. I imagine that all of us have experienced loss, pain, and death, so that is not new.

    McGee, you have left a Magnificent Legacy for the world and you will never really be gone, for you live in so many hearts and minds forever! Whenever I say the Molly Motto, I will always see the “McGee” in “Gee”. And whenever I look up at a full moon, they will all be superimposed with a memory of McGee flying faithfully on a full moon night back and forth to the owl box to deliver treats or to cuddle and snooze with Molly. Zorro, the mouse that got away, lives on to tell the tales of McGee!


      Oh how very true, the words you typed PegRod,,,,,,and ALL the MODS,,,,,,,,that were (and ARE) dedicated to this OWL story over and over for years to come. Nice to see some familiar names, and EVEN lurkers that never chatted.
      Im sorry=but Im still of the opinion that McGee is just out sniffing the area and playing in the fields. Lets keep our fingers crossed but perhaps some of the once=baby owlets will have grown UP to carry on the same as their parents! They may take over the Owl Box too!
      ps-My cat, no longer will watch the computer screen since the Owl Box went up for rent!

      Thanks to everyone.

      • PegRod Says:

        Kitty – thoughtful and wonderful comments. Thank you! That’s what others have told me. McGee is Alive (per Gordon)! He may be carrying the Owlympic Torch to and from unknown and mysterious places – and walking with a crutch those 5 miles home. My response was that McGee comes home each night/day, just as sure as as the sun rises and sun sets. I know that if he were alive, Molly would have found him. Life-mates know these things. Even if McGee’s body has expired, the life and lives he was part of, in the creation, live on, as does his story, forever and ever (amen and aowls). Our dear McGee is AWOL and we want him back – “Say it ain’t so, Carlos”!

        But, hope springs eternal in life! Many hugs to you Toppsy! And yes, it is so wonderful to hear from so many MODs!

  435. Cindy Says:

    What a sad message. Thank you for sharing.

    Anew day

  436. John T. WEATHERBIE in Union Park, Fla. Says:

    Thank you, Folks, for sharing with us all the love you’ve had for the beautiful birds! We have learned so much from the last (too few ! ) months – both with and about your family, and with Mom and Pop owls and all the little ones.

    The things we have learned ! About the Barn Owls in general, about Molly & McGee in particular and their regard for each other and their youngsters. We have learned so much about Love. Thank you. And may God bless us all, everyone . . . . . . .

    . . . . . . . . the tears simply will not stop . . . . . . .

  437. John T. WEATHERBIE in Union Park, Fla. Says:

    Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth . . . . . . .

    put out my hand and touched the face of God . . . . . . . . .

  438. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly and McGee
    Third Clutch 2011

    March 13, 2011 – 6,410 Viewer Hours, Updated Numbers

    This is a magnificent blog post from last year by Carlos with a report from a short trip he and Donna took to The Huntington Library and Museum in San Marino, CA, where they saw an original illustrated book of John James Audubon, admired and studied some famous paintings (Gainsborough’s Blue Boy and Pinkie), and strolled through the beautiful surrounding gardens.

    Carlos gives descriptive updates and observations on Molly and McGee’s new clutch from this time last year, words read and reread by thousands as we celebrated the joy of new life! He also provides links for the Ustream recording of “Mom Knows Best” and “The Molly Special” – McGee was shaking his head saying with a deet, deet, deet and a chortle, “Why does she always get the credit and top billing!”

  439. ruthiesmom Says:

    As All of the MOD’s cope with the sad news.. : ..
    Though we would love to think in terms of happily ever after, the owls in the natural cycle of life do have a finite amount of time. It is comforting to know those little ones we had the great privilege to watch come into the world, are now flying free, and making owl families of their own. It uplifts our hearts to see other human’s, like the Royal’s, who instead of selfishly putting ruin to the earth, are attempting to be supportive, and provide safe habitat for earths valuable creatures.
    I have to assume, that knowing their happy hunting territory so well, (filming occurred there), that an attempt was made to find McGee, in order to render aide if he was injured, and wild life rehab folks were on the look-out also.
    Was sort of wondering if found, and accident clearly not the cause, would an attempt be made to discern if it was age, or pesticide? or just allow nature to take care of things.
    Thinking in time, all of Us might like to see a photo of Molly content in the owlbox, perhaps with a new family.
    Molly & McGee, what a time it was – touched and elevated the hearts of so many – and I was part of it…

  440. Treloar Bower Says:

    I know this same story plays out in nature everyday but my heart is heavy today, mourning McGee, DeeDee and the three owlets that never were to hatch. McGee’s legacy is more than his offspring…he was an ambassador for owl conservation! Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for all you have done for owls everywhere, not just those in your own backyard. My family, among so many others, were the true beneficiaries of your work. Tonight, we will read our Molly book to our daughter in memory of McGee.

  441. I just read the terrible news. I also feel saddened and have a heavy heart. I am offering all of you my condolences and may all the wonderful and happy memories you have help heal your sorrow. God bless all of you. <3

  442. Roberta Wiertalla Says:

    This is the saddest day of 2012 …. as a MOD that followed M&M through the first and second clutches with rabid attention, with my half-dozen coffee mugs with Molly & McGee and the owlets, with the “Four Owlets” picture on prominent display in my office, I am heartbroken to hear of McGee’s evident passing. Your description, Carlos, of Molly’s interaction with the eggs made me cry, but as I remember the many many good times back in 2010 and 2011 where we MODs were constantly talking, cajoling, and helping each other as one big family would! We are the M&M Family and always will be!! Soar high, McGee! Soar high!
    with many tears today and much love to all, including the wonderful Royals who shared this with us…..Farewell, McGee!

  443. Christine from Boston Says:

    Thanks for letting us know the sad news, Carlos and Donna. All the MODs far and wide grieve with you. And we all appreciate your letting us be part of the M&M experience. I hope Molly finds another mate and does well. Although we know it’s nature, it’s very sad. Take care, and thanks again for the update.

  444. Morganminpin Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna, and Austin,
    My deepest sympathy for the loss of dear McGee and the clutch. I too first tuned in in the early Spring of 2010 to watch the first clutch hatch, grow, and fly. Barn owls are amazing creatures and it has been a privilege to be able to see them and learn from them. Please keep us informed of how Molly is doing, my hope is that she will survive this loss and mate again.

  445. Elaine Says:

    I will always remember McGee and what a beautiful bird he was. It’s so sad for Molly to lose her whole family. I hope she finds new life and can start a new family.

  446. Christy in West Virgina Says:

    Carlos, Donna, and Austin,
    I am writing this through tears…..what a magnificent couple Molly and McGee were- he a wonderful provider for his family, and she a tender, loving Mother. You all made it possible for us to peek into their world, and gave them a safe haven to raise their owlets. My heart breaks for Molly-she has lost her entire family. There is a wonderful poem by Wendell Berry that I learned about on this blog.It is below, and I think so appropriate just now.

    The Peace of Wild Things
    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives might be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water,
    and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things who do not
    tax their lives with forethought of grief.
    I come into the presence of still water.
    and I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world and am free.

  447. Susan Says:

    Oh McGee! How can this be? McGee, the most Magnificent Barn Owl in the world! You will be greatly missed. I will light a candle in you honor tonight. And Dee Dee and the 3 that will not be. My heart is breaking today……………………..

  448. Susan Says:

    I’m heartsick about this sad news. I am grateful for the hard work and dedication that Carlos and family put into giving us a privileged look into the lives of owls. I hope Molly finds another mate, and possibly continues to use the owl box for a home.

  449. Nancy Brown Says:

    Carlos, Donna and Austin, Once again thank you for sharing the story of the Owl Box with us. It is an experience I will never forget. Yes the first clutch was a true miracle for both the Owl Box and for mankind and we will be ever indebted to the Royals for sharing it with the world. As one chapter closes we will look to the future to see what the Owl Box will bring. All will be special but never in so much so as the first. Nancy from Vermont PS: Vermont had a record of a breeding pair of Barn Owls last year, very rare here!

  450. Leah Odom Says:

    Dear Carlos,
    I am writing on behalf of my Mom. I saw this post on the computer this morning & was very sad. I called my Mom to tell her & she was also very saddened by the news. She was a big follower of Molly & McGee, they were a very special part of her life. She wanted me to say that she is very thankful to have had the opportunity to watch such beautiful creatures living life. And such is life that we may lose some of the ones we love. My Mom purchased one of your photographs of Molly & McGee, at their box, & McGee landing with wings outstretched. She loves this photo & will hold it dear to her forever. Thank you for letting us into your back yard to experience the simple pleasure of watching two amazing Barn Owls just live life. Oh what we can learn from nature & it’s creatures.

    Deepest sympathies,
    Leah & Cecile Odom – North Carolina

  451. Jillybean in KS Says:

    Sadness filled my heart when I read the news about McGee. I was so happy when I saw that Molly and McGee had produced a 4th clutch but now this news is heart breaking. I, too, hope Molly finds another mate and lays another clutch of eggs. It has been my pleasure to follow the owls in this journey of their lives and I’m forever grateful to Carlos and his family for sharing it with the world. R.I.P. McGee!

  452. Sherrie aka Sharoot Says:

    It was love at first sight, one peek into the owlbox and I was hooked. It was truly magical and McGee will live on in my heart forever. We are all saddened with this news, but the rainbow bridge is there for McGee. I feel so blessed to have met so many friends through M&M and my heart goes out to Carlos and family and Molly as well. Thank you so much for sharing.

  453. Betty Rexrode Says:

    I was just stunned as I read the heart breaking news about McGee, DeeDee and Molly’s eggs. This just shows all of us, once again, how special the first clutches were.
    I have great sadness in my heart today.
    Thank you Carlos for keeping us informed…….even if it’s not news that we want to hear. Life is indeed, precious.

  454. La_Mesa_Mom Says:

    Carlos, Donna and Austin, I am so sorry for our loss of the incredible McGee and the 4th clutch. I share your tears and sorrow. May our Creator comfort us all, especially Molly.
    La Mesa Mom

  455. tweetkathleen Says:

    Dear Royal family, Ed and I feel deeply saddened over the loss of McGee, DeeDee and the remaining eggs. (((Molly, Carlos,Donna, Austin, Eric and Vaca))) M&M, the owls who started owl watching for many of us. We have our books, pics and videos to keep the world famous owl alive in our hearts. It’s McGee’s turn to soar and hunt with endless treats and he will live in our hearts and souls forever.
    Thank you for allowing us to be a part of it all,

  456. Eadie in Rockwall, TX Says:

    What lovely tributes. We are each part of the “circle of life.” Blessing to the Royals for sharing McGee & Molly with us.

  457. OwlLuvr Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna & Austin, I am post 442? You are not alone in your grief…Leggs McGee will be remembered forever by all these people…Little DeeDee is with him on the Rainbow Bridge…Thank yoiu Royals for taking time out of your lives to share Molly’s Box with us. Everyone will always remember the joys and laughs we had together…Leggs McGee was the role model for all male barn owls, so strong, majestic, beautiful, such a good provider, so wise…As you often commented, he took the lead in whatever was going to happen in the box…It is only from learning and loving these beautiful creatures, that we all have a lump in our throat, and tears streaming down our face…Leggs was loved…thank you, and I hope our words can give you all some comfort at this time,


  458. didinp Says:

    Dear Friend

    I dont know what to say I am heartbroken right now

    But Let us all not be sad becuase of what we lost but that it happened at all

    Peace and Love

  459. Kat Says:

    The sadness is overwhelming. I have been here since the first clutch and have to thank the Royal’s for the privilege of a spectacular adventure that would consume me for years, teach me so much and garner me so many new friends. It will never be the same without McGee, I will hold you and your family tightly in my heart and there you will remain.

  460. Mary Ann Says:

    I am saddened by the news of McGee, my heart is breaking for Molly and the loss of the fourth clutch. I have followed M&M since the first clutch. I have enjoyed listening to Carlos in the morning with his cup of tea. The hours and hours of broadcasting. The good news and the bad. As Carlos says this is all nature’s way. But it doesn’t make it any easier. I want to thank Vacadude for helping us through our losses with the “Rainbow Bridge”. Once again it will bring comfort.

    The family I have made here I will cherish forever. Carlos and Donna, thank you for bringing the world closer together through your cameras. Molly and McGee have brought love throughout the world. And many many owl boxes have been put up around the world due to your letting every one know how important they are to saving more owls like Molly and McGee. Thank you again and again. Fly free McGee.


  461. Bitsy in GA Says:

    Molly and McGee came into our lives in a storm and now McGee has drifted out of our lives soaring into the heavens on a gentle breeze. I share in the sadness with the Royal family and all that have grown to adore these beautiful creatures. Once again we are getting an example of just how precious life is .. Thank you Donna , Carlos and Austin for the many hours you sacrificed so that all could enjoy the wonder of the Way of the Owl.. As I sit here looking thru my many photos, the DVD’s and books of this wonderful barn owl family even thru the tears I can say ” Gee that was fun and I was part of it. .

  462. Mary Ann Says:

    Fly free McGee :'(

  463. Nicole Says:

    What a joy these owls were to watch — thank you for sharing them with us – despite the sadness we all feel at the loss of McGee and his last clutch.

  464. Holly Sue Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna and Austin,
    My heart is broken. Our dear, sweet Molly has lost her family and I grieve for her and for you. I know this is all part of nature but you and our wonderful owls have been such a very special part of my life these last years – they were truly magical! This is a reminder that life is so precious and must be treasured each and every day. The owls overhead also tell us to have hope,despite our sadness life will go on. Molly and McGee are the first thing I see each day as I turn on my computer, and there they shall remain as a tribute to this very blessed time. All of you will continue in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you so much for sharing your life with all of us. Please, please keep in touch!
    Love to you, Holly Sue

  465. June Schafer Says:

    A beautiful bird, a Common Barn Owl,
    was known as our McGee.
    So fun to watch him being a dad
    and faithful mate to Molly.
    They claimed the box and made it home
    on a day that was quite windy.
    Then, in time, eggs were laid
    and soon we saw some babies.
    Three clutches they raised in their home
    for all the world to see.
    We watched those babies, yes we did,
    sometimes worried, sometimes happy.
    In the door or on the porch the babies sat
    to wait to hear the deet, deet, deet that surely came from
    On silent wings he would come with yummy treats to eat,
    making sure each night to feed his family.
    Then came clutch 4,
    the clutch that would not be.
    Our hearts are broken
    and tears are many.
    But in our grief our one wish is:

  466. robbie murphy Says:

    it is with great sadness to find we have lost mcgee and the fourth clutch. molly and ncgee have been a wonderful part of my life. i have such wonderful memories of each clutch. i thank carlos and donna for sharing them with us. my hope is that molly will be with us still love
    robbie murphy

  467. Jane Brunzie Says:

    I never could have imagined, when I read a little blurb in our local paper about an owl box here in San Marcos, that my life would be turned upsidedown. I was lucky enough to have entered Molly and McGee’s lives at the very beginning and loved them so much. I sit here with my throat so tight I can’t swallow and can’t see through my tears. How could I have known that these wonderful creatures could so change my life and fill my home with books, shirts, songs, etc. How could I have known that I would love all this owl family with all my heart when I had never known or cared for owls. I feel like someone in my family has died and the added grief of Molly trying to save her clutch is more than sad! Thank you Royal family for your tremendous gift to all of us and allowing us into your wonderful human family who we all loved as well. I can’t find words for what a loss I feel but know that there are thousands of other MOD’s who understand. I love you Molly and McGee.
    Jane B San Marcos, CA

  468. Linda Stauffer Says:

    Carlos, Donna and Austin,

    How extremely sad. I am still crying as I write this. I feel so sad for Molly. I have watched this story from the very beginning. I have the big photos of Molly and McGee. McGee was a great provider. I enjoyed staying up late at night and watching him during the first clutch.

    God bless,

    Linda Stauffer
    Harrisburg, PA

  469. Kathy Says:

    I know barn owls aren’t expected to live very long but somehow I thought McGee would be the exception because afterall he’s McGee the world famous barn owl. Soooo sad!

  470. Lisa Tye Says:

    Oh Carlos, Donna, and Austin! My heart is breaking right now…I am so sad for Molly and also for each of you (and for all of us that loved McGee also). He and Molly (and each of you) have taught us so much about barn owls (and other wildlife). I stayed up nights with all others watching. It was amazing how he took care of his family..humans can learn so much from these wonderful animals….ya’ll are in my heart! Lisa Tye columbia, SC

  471. GeniaKnitz Says:

    Carlos, would you consider hosting a “remembering McGee” broadcast? All of us who loved him could come together and tell our favorite “why I love McGee” and “remember the time” stories?
    I think we’re all grieving today.

  472. Sheila Says:

    The first clutch entered my life when I was so much in need of them, with my dad’s passing. I watched in awe and amazement and truly grew to love this wonderful species. I am deeply saddened by this loss and the blow it is to the Royal family, as I know this little family of owls and owlets entered your lives and touched you more than all of us combined. You have shared so much with us and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. God bless you all.

  473. Jeslyn (Jes63) Says:

    With other bad things happening in my life, this news about Molly and McGee have just pushed me over the edge.
    Crying my eyes out whle remembering how they brought all of us together and what fun we had ove the past years.
    My heart goes out to everyone who enjoyed Molly & McGee.
    Love, Jeslyn (Jes63)

    • camperfamily Says:

      Hello Jes63:)
      Sending you hugs and hope knowing we are all together will help a little.
      Hugs to you my friend,
      Kim (Temecula)

      • Debbie (debiMac) Says:

        So sorry, Jeslyn. Big HUGZ to you! We are all grieving together and we will all hold on to the wonderful memories of Leggz McGee and his very special family. God bless! <3

        debiMac in SoCal

  474. flukestail Says:

    Tonight I’ll lay me down to sleep,
    With sadness and grief that I shall keep,
    For a magnificent owl and his clutch-to-be,
    With love and gratitude, to you…McGee.

    With a hole in my heart,

  475. Eileen Says:

    So sorry to hear the news! Life can be so tough and sad sometimes. I am grateful for the joy Molly, McGee and the owlets gave my daughters and I in the past. We also hope Molly finds a new mate soon!

  476. Ann Says:

    Words could never adequately express the sadness that fills my heart. We knew from the beginning that Barn Owls have a 2 year life span on average. Somehow I always believed that Molly and McGee would live forever. They will in my heart. The tears still flow rapidly today. We have truly lost a family member. Molly and McGee allowed me to make it through a very difficult time in my life and I will be forever grateful for this. Please let us know if Molly returns. She has lost everything and my heart breaks for her. Please keep in touch with us as all of the Royal’s are family. You brought the world together for the better. Thank you from the depths of my heart and soul for allowing us the honor and privilege of following and loving Molly, McGee and their owlets. Hugs and Loves to all of you.

  477. Lynn Says:

    It’s the Circle of Life
    And it moves us all
    Through despair and hope
    Through faith and love
    Till we find our place
    On the path unwinding
    In the Circle
    The Circle of Life

  478. sandy/Racoona Says:

    I am still grieving over the loss. But I had to comment on the huge response of MODS out there! What a huge following M and M have had. I too thought McGee would be here for years to come. RIP, McGee and DeeDee and 3 little eggs.

  479. jezbel Says:

    Weeping shall endure for a night…
    ….. but joy cometh in the morning.

    All life is precious and fleeting. Hugs your children tighter, a little longer and tell those you value how much you love them and care about them – often.

    Thank you for all you’re done Carlos and Donna. You brought uncommon life to us on the other side of the internet.

  480. marilynhowe Says:

    It was with great sadness I read the news about McGee and the 4th clutch. I watched the owl box from the beginning; a friend who has since passed away introduced me to it. I have always loved animals, but I never thought that I would fall in love with barn owls! Thank you for all you have done to share them with all of us. I know that is has required much more time and expense than most of us realize. Hopefully we will hear more good news from the owl box, but for now I smile through the tears thinking, “That was fun, and I was a part of it!:

  481. Mary Says:

    Carlos, Donna and Austin;
    Thank you again for the life affirming experience of allowing us to share in a truly once-in-a-lifetime event. I watched the first clutch and all that was broadcast afterward. I am very saddened by this news and will always carry the sunny memory of those early days. RIP LEGGS.

  482. Sheri Says:

    So sad to hear. But thank you so much for sharing the joys, triumphs, and real life of the owls. I have learned so much, as have all 8 of my grandchildren. The video of the first clutch is one of their favorites. And the book is well loved.

  483. Judy Sackson Says:

    I am so devestated to hear about McGee….he was my favorite! My heart is broken!
    I think tho that it was a good thing that Carlos and Donna were home this weekend, and could follow the sad story to its end, just think how terrible to come home from a lovely trip and find everyone gone…and not to ever know what happened!
    My heart goes out to you all, Carlos, Donna, Austin and all of the MODs who have been posting for more than a day (not enough time at my work to read them all yet). I understand the cycle of life, I have had pets all my life, but it’s never any easier to lose an animal or bird that you have become very attached to. I think of Molly and MeGee as part of my family, have watched since Pattison hatched, check on them every day…and now what! I certainly will miss their antics, and those new babies…how sad!
    I hope that Carlos and Donna will not forget that we are now all a part of their extended family, and give a report of their doings from time to time. I would really miss that too.
    And to McGee….fly free and forever!!!

  484. Deb Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna and Austin,
    My heart aches today as I reminisce over the joys of watching Molly and McGee and their second clutch.
    They were such a beautiful and loving couple.
    Thank you for sharing your “sights and sounds from the owlbox” all the way from San Marcos, California. It has been an experience that I will cherish forever.
    There will never be a pair quite like Molly and McGee.
    My deepest and most sincere condolences,


  485. Irene Hercules Says:

    I am so very sad that McGee is gone and Molly needed to take the way of nature with her clutch. It was such an uplifting for me last year when I was battling an illness. I would look forward to 10:30 pm, St. Louis, Mo. time to forget me, and join the outdoors and the gift of life. Love to all of you.

  486. Kristin Nazaret Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna and Austin,
    Still trying to accept this; I am heartbroken. Poor Molly waiting for McGee and then realizing she had to hunt herself, and then returning to find her chick lifeless and eggs cold. It must have been so hard for you both to watch her. Some fairytales do not have happy endings. But I am very grateful to you both for introducing me to the world of barn owls and entertaining us with your broadcasts, such happy times! I so hope Molly finds a new mate, and continues on. Rest in peace our beautiful Leggs McGee. We all loved you so much!
    God bless you both,

  487. Cyndi Says:

    oh darn. I was hoping Molly & McGee would live forever. I wish that there was closure in knowing what happened to McGee. Since he hasn’t returned, I am going to assume his is flying and flying and watching us all. He is giving us a piece of our medicine–watching us. Let’s shine for him….

  488. galaxy911 Says:

    My heart hurts for Molly and the Royals. Thank you for teaching us the lessons of life. How beautiful they all are. Hopefully, McGee’s legend will continue with Molly finding another mate.

  489. JudySue from Wisconsin Says:

    Carlos, Donna and Austin,
    I couldn’t write anything about this at first- my heart was too heavy. McGee, like Molly, was more than a common barn owl. He meant so much to so many, and brought joy and understanding into our lives. What a great provider he was. We know that barn owls normally live only two years, but he was special and I guess we all hoped it would go on forever.

    Thank you so much for letting us into your lives and those of the owls. I will never forget them (or you). Hopefully you will keep us posted on further activity with Molly and in the box.

  490. Buddys Mom Says:

    McGee will live forever in our hearts. I am so sorry to hear the news and have a big lump in my throat. He was such a handsome boy. Poor Molly–although I know it is nature’s way. I am sure some of the babies are having a good life and having families. Thank you for letting us know, Carlos and Donna, and please continue to keep us informed on the goings-on in the owlbox. Love always to you! (From Buddy’s Mom)

  491. Carole in Charlotte, NC Says:

    I have always been very attached to my pets and Molly and McGee are included. I was devastated after reading your message yesterday. Your owl box was my first owl experience and Molly and McGee will always be my first love with owls. It is amazing the thousands of lives you have touched and changed with your gift of sharing them and teaching us. You are very special people. Molly, McGee, and their owlets will always have a special place in our hearts. With sympathy and hope, Carole Martin

  492. aspengoldred2 Says:

    Oh so sad, McGee was such a good provider and a beautiful owl who touched the hearts of millions and will live forever in mine. Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for sharing the story of the most famous barn owls with the world. The gift of your time & effort in bringing this sweet story to us MOD’s is so appreciated and ranks as a special time in so many lives. Thanks for the sweet memory.

  493. Lovebugs321 Says:

    I never realized an animal that I followed through the first clutch would take such a huge place in my heart as it did. I get extremely emotional when one of my pets passes and it was no different with Mcgee. It was as if he was a part of my family. I learned so much from Molly and Mcgee and I so hope Molly finds another mate. She is a wonderful mother! I’m sure Donna and Carlos were devastated when Mcgee didnt return, as they both were a part of their family. RIP Mcgee!!

  494. Diane England Says:

    So saddened to receive the lastest news. . .Thank you Carlos for reporting it so touchingly.

    The sacrifices and patience of Carlos, Donna, Austin and MOD’s, who shared the joys and tradgedies of the owlbox, are greatly appreciated.

    Carlos, the science enrichment you provided for children and students accross our country will continue to be passed on forever. The story of Molly and McGee will become a legend.

    With appreciation and fondness, Diane

  495. Julie Says:

    It is a very sad day indeed.
    I am sad for you, Carlos and Donna.
    I am sad for the chatters.
    But most of all I am sad for Molly.
    I am so very glad I took all of those screenshots many months ago of Molly and McGee in the owl box, standing very close. It was such a treat to see them in the box together.
    I will never forget them!

    Thanks Carlos and Donna for the wonderful memories <3

  496. Nancy Solitare Says:

    My tears run for McGee and Molly. The circle of life is precious. May all the offspring live long lives and prosper. I watched every owlet, both clutches and was active in chat room. Learned a lot here.
    Thank you Donna and Carlos. xo

  497. Melinda B Says:

    I am so very sorry but I am also so happy, that through you,all had the privilege to become acquainted with McGee, Molly and all the owlettes.

  498. Evan Richardson Says:

    Evan broke the sad news last night about McGee. I knew this day would come, but I tried not to think about it. I feel so sad for Molly and wonder how she manages to cope with the loss of her mate and her 4th clutch. The circle of life is as happy as it is sad. Evan and I are choosing to honor McGee by remembering all the happy and funny times. It is amazing that two barn owls could bring together so many people and teach us so much. Our 3 ½ yr old grandson even got in on the action. We discovered it doesn’t really matter if you are a human or an owl, being a parent is a full-time job with a lot of laughter and tears combined. It was a honor to be able to see Molly and McGee and how they interacted with one another. I often wondered what words were being said between the two of them!! I was truly amazed to see each owlet had their own personality. Evan and I spent many nights forgoing sleep because we didn’t want to miss McGee making a delivery or miss a hatching. I still find myself in fits of giggles thinking about the time Molly refused the rabbit McGee brought and instead took it out of the box herself!!!

    Carlos, Donna, and Austin….thank you for including us in your “family”. We left our computer on most of the time and would come running when we heard your voice. Thank you for sharing the joy and magic of two special barn owls. God has a place of honor for McGee and his spirit will always live on through his offspring. Thanks again for all of the wonderful memories!!

    girlygirl (Melissa)

  499. Cathy Says:

    I will be wearing my lovely little silver owl box charm around my neck tomorrow in my first grade classroom. The children will clamor to see the little owlets inside the charm, as they always do when I wear it. As I open the tiny roof, I will remember the wonderful experience of Molly and McGee and their sweet owlets.

    Thank you Donnna, Carlos, and Austin

  500. The grief is overwhelming. Thank you to the Royal’s for the privilege of a spectacular adventure that would consume me for years, teach me so much and garner me so many new friends It will never be the same. I will hold McGee and his family tightly within my heart and there you will remain.

  501. Cathy in SC Says:

    So sorry to hear about MCGee! It brought tears to my eyes and when I told my husband about McGee and that it made me cry he said “figures”. I would sit in front of my computer half the night watching the first clutch. Even got my 3 yr old grandaughter involved. She would come over and want to watch the owls. People think you’re crazy to get so involved in watching them but if they would have sat and watched they too would have gotten hooked. I was sad when Carlos didn’t braodcast all clutches but I know they had lives too. At least I have the memories! Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin.

  502. Mary Ann Says:

    And I was part of it… along with thousands of other MODs. Fly Free McGee, DeeDee and three unhatched owlets. Thank you Carlos for sharing such a wonderful gift.

  503. Tahoe Lynn Says:

    Yes, tears are falling. Molly and McGee and their 3 clutches will be remembered for a very long time in our household.

    Several years ago, in the springtime, driving along the levee roads between Stockton and Antioch CA we were horrified to see the dead bodies of 13 barn owls by the side of road spaced out miles apart. With heavy hearts we then realized that they were males who had been killed by cars as the owls were out hunting at night. Owls get so intent on their prey that “foreign objects” are overlooked. It is a sad, sad shame…but part of today’s ‘natural’ process I fear.

    All the best to lovely Molly the mom…may she live long and prosper.

    Tahoe Lynn
    at Owlpine Meadows

  504. Kitty (Kathie) Carlyle Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna and Austin,

    I feel I’m not very good with words, so I don’t write on here very much and have put off replying until now. My heart sank when I got the news, yesterday. I can’t believe our beautiful McGee is gone and the clutch as well. I am so worried for our dear Molly and what will become of her now. I hope and pray you will keep us updated should she come back to the box or if any other owls are spotted and of course, if you do find out what happened to McGee.

    You all brought such joy to my life. I would rush home after church on Saturday nights because you were going to broadcast. I loved it when you broadcasted and I felt so at home, here, on here and on ustream. You educated us like a father would teach their child and it was so appreciated. We loved you for that and for your kindness to all of us and all the animals and birds.

    You will be terribly missed and there is a huge hole in my heart where you all and the owls used to be and that will never be filled by any other owl box or any other broadcaster. You were and are “the man”, Carlos and Molly and McGee were the most important thing in so many of our lives for so long. Donna is an angel for standing by you quietly and supporting you and us. And Austin – a grandson to be proud of for sure. What an awesome man he will be, much of it because of his wonderful grandparents.

    I will never forget and will cherish every single moment I ever spent watching the owlbox. I will treasure your coffee table book forever and all the beautiful tiles I got from you and the calendars and all of it.

    I know all of you must be hurting pretty bad right now and bless your hearts, you more than likely loved them even more than we did.

    I have the owlbox cam up, just in case you may return, like a candle in the window for someone out in the night. I hope one day I hear your voice on there. Until that day or I finally give up, which will be a long, long time, the ustream box will still be up in hope.

    In closing, I just want to say, It was fun, it was beautiful, it was a lot of love and friendships made, and I am do darned glad I was part of it.

    Love to you all, Kitty Carlyle

    • Ann Says:

      Very Beautifully written and expresses what most of us feel. Again, Thank YOU Royal Family for the honor and privilege of watching, knowing, learning about and loving Molly, McGee and family! We will meet at the Bridge! Fly High and Free McGee and owlets! We will meet one day! Love and Hugs!

    • Jodimaher Says:

      Kitty thank you so much for what you said. All of it so very true, my heart is broken and I can’t imagine how Carlos and Donna and Molly must feel. I am so thankful for this experience, the good and the bad are equally emotional. I appreciate all of the awareness that the Royals brought to the world about barn owls. I can’t thank you enough for allowing them to be a part of our lives. ((((hugs)))) jodimaher

  505. colleen Says:

    This is so sad to hear. I enjoyed watching “the owl box” last year and was amazed and privileged to see owlets hatch and be raised. So sorry and such a loss for everyone who enjoyed watching them. Owls are such gorgeous birds! As you say, it is the cycle of life.

  506. Kim C. Says:

    Fly forever McGee with Jody, Kelly, Dee Dee, and the unhatched owlets. I have followed from the beginning and have all the memories to treasure. Molly and McGee are the reason I volunteer at the Carolina Raptor Center. I pray for Molly, Carlos, Donna and Austin. God bless you for this wonderful adventure. You are all in my heart forever,

  507. Gail Says:

    I loved watching these owls. Molly, McGee, and their kids gave me so much pleasure and happiness. I am extremely sad, but no matter what anyone says, I am holding out hope that McGee may have been rescued and brought to an animal rehab center. It’s possible, and I choose to not give up. Thank you Carlos, Donna, and Austin for letting us share this wonderful experience.

  508. my heart is broken…I cannot stop crying.

  509. Judith Wahlander Says:

    So much sadness, so much loss… McGee and all the babies… Our little Molly will have to be very brave and carry on.

    Much gratitude to the Royals and all they have shared with us. It has been a remarkable experience.

    Judy Wahlander


  510. Nancy Woodrow Says:

    I have been here from the begining and will always remember the owlets, Molly and McGee. Thank you Donna and Carlos. All of the MODS are in my thoughts and prayers.

  511. Lynn Says:

    I am heartbroken…Molly and McGee were my first owl loves, and forever my favorites. Because of them I’ve made many lifelong friends. Watching the first and second clutch with them was a truly magical time…I will cherish the memories always.

  512. It is the measure of any creature how well they are loved, and the positive effect they leave in their passing. This means that McGee is truly a giant of his kind. He was not only loved, he was such a positive Daddy role model for both birds and humans alike. He and Molly truly brought the world together in a positive way. And the same can be said, even more so, for the Royals. Carlos, Donna, Austin, as well as Eric, Chris and Vaca. Thank you all for sharing these wonderful creatures and in the process creating a community that could and should be the envy of every person who believes that all people, everywhere can come together in the spirit of love. The Circle of Life is both happy and sad, as are all of us. Cyber hugs and affection to all in the MOD community.

  513. What a sad loss. My heart is heavy as I add this comment. Carlos and Donna, thank you so much for the opportunity that you have provided for so many people as we watched Molly and McGee show us their world. Because of your generosity their spirits will always reside with me and the hope that Molly will somehow find her way back.

  514. L Long Says:

    I woke up this morning with such a lump in my throat, and, half asleep, was relieved to think it was just a nightmare. Then I woke up enough to remember that they had died. And I have been paralyzed with grief since then, and can barely breathe, at times, from sadness.

    Our magnificent, handsome McGee, provider and patriarch, gone. And the baybees, too. Poor Molly. As hard as it was to read about their deaths, the account must have been worse to write. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Royal, for sharing the barn owls with us.

    After parenting my daughter, whose learning disabilities and mental illness make for long, intense days, I had felt such joy and anticipation again, like the previous clutches, when I ran to the computer at the end of the day to check on sweet Molly, her macho husband, and their new clutch. I felt such peace and wonder, watching them. Thank you for the privilege of peeking into their world.

    And so, and so, goodbye to the best father and hunter, McGee, and their little baybees. Watch over Molly, and save us all a place in heaven, when loving one another now longer brings any tears except in happiness.

    Love, Lisa

  515. Patti Says:

    Good bye to our dear friend McGee. You brought so much happiness to millions of people. We will miss you.

  516. Terry Chism Says:

    My husband and I were introduced to Molly and McGee with the 2nd clutch. We’d check in on them morning and evening and watch with wonder the unfolding events of the eggs hatching, the owlets growing, wondering if enough food would be caught, watching them take their first flights, rejoicing in the beauty of God’s wonderful creatures, such as these barn owls. We were thankful for the technology of today which enables you, Carlos, Donna, and Austin to record these mysteries of the owls and to share this with the whole world. Thank you for giving us this gift of joy and yet, now sadness as we will miss this pair. More adventures, I’m sure, will await your creative minds and love for the nature around you. Thank you once again. With love, Mike and Terry Chism

  517. Melissa Richardson Says:

    Evan broke the sad news to me last night about McGee. I knew this day would come, but tried not to think about it. I feel so sad for Molly and wonder how she manages to cope with the loss of her mate and her 4th clutch. The circle of life is as happy as it is sad. Evan and I are choosing to honor McGee by remembering all the happy and funny times. It is amazing that two barn owls could bring together so many people and teach us so much – even our 3½ yr old grandson got in on the action! We discovered it doesn’t matter if you are human or an owl, being a parent is a full-time job with a lot of laughter and tears combined. It was a honor to watch Molly and McGee interact with one another; I often wondered what words were being said between the two of them! I was truly amazed to see each owlet had their own personality. Evan and I spent many nights forgoing sleep because we didn’t want to miss McGee making a delivery or miss a hatching. I still find myself in fits of giggles thinking about the time Molly refused the rabbit McGee brought and instead took it out of the box herself!!!

    Carlos, Donna, and Austin….thank you for including us in your “family”. We always left the computer on and would come running out of bed when we heard your voice. Thank you for sharing the joy and magic of two special barn owls. God has a place of honor for McGee and his spirit will always live on through his offspring. Thanks again for all of the wonderful memories!!

    Girlygirl (Melissa)
    Marietta, GA

  518. Debbie Forth Says:

    Carlos, Donna and Austin my heart is so sad today – so many tears. I started watching with the second clutch and fell in love with Molly and McGee. But I have to say watching this summer when it was just Molly and McGee and no owlets was just as fascinating and fun. I loved the interaction between those two. It was something special. Hugs to you all and thanks so much for sharing with all of us.

  519. Jerri Weed Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna & Austin,

    With heavy Heart I write this note to say I’m So Sorry but then I Feel Blessed to Have Seen Molly and McGee Raise Several Clutches…As I’m writing this I look up at my Beatutiful Print from Chris Adams with Molly and Max and around my Neck is My Precious Necklous of “McGee Over The Moon”.

    Leggz McGee Will Never Be Forgotten nor will Be Molly….Carlos you did something so Special to So Many that We Will Never Forget…

    I really Hope You, Donna and Austin are Doing Okay Through This Pain, but know you Have Millions Of Friends out there if You Need them. All You need to do is Just Open a Window and Deet,, Deet,,Deet Away and We will be there.

    Please Keep Us Up-Dated…

    With All My LUV,

    KSBORN (aka)
    Jerri Weed

    P.S. (((Group Hug)))

  520. LoriG Says:

    It was Magic in so many ways. Thank You Donna & Carlos. Comfort & Peace to You & to All.
    Molly & McGee were/are a blessing to teach us all something special about life, love, friendship & loss. A pure blessing. Funny, they’ll never know how much they gave to each one of us or maybe they do know………
    Beautiful, magnificent creatures & souls (((Molly & McGee & their sweet Babies))) and the entire animal kingdom. We are so grateful for you & we need to listen more closely to your wisdom.
    Thank you Molly & McGee. Fly free dear McGee & Godspeed sweet Molly.

  521. Nancy Paine Says:

    I feel terrible about this but in real life there are winners and losers. please type in barred owls and fill out the forms to stop killing of these owls..It ihas upset me to no end and I do hope that McKee did not lose his life in this manner. Love to all of you.

    The Obama administration is moving forward with plans at this moment to choose winners and losers amongst America’s wildlife. Specifically, the Federal Government has chosen to side with the Spotted Owl and against the Barred Owl. As a result, the government will engage in a systematic killing of Barred Owls.

    If this troubles you as much as it troubles us, then please sign the petition on the right to make your voice heard and to stop the Federal Government from picking winners and losers in nature!

  522. Cecily Says:

    What a sad day this is! Words can’t express my feelings of gratitude and sadness at our loss. What an honor and privilege
    it has been to be a part of this family. God Bless you.
    “All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small. All things wise and wonderful. The Lord God made them all”.

  523. Sally Greninger Says:

    McGee will be missed in so many ways by so many people. He, as well as Molly and the owlets, have a special meaning to all of us in our own ways.

    Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for your devotion to these beauitful owls and making our lives a little brighter.

    RIP McGee and fly high and proud.

  524. Michelle Taubert Says:

    I still don’t want to believe McGee and the babies are gone. I never knew much about owls until my great friend Ellie showed me The Owl Box and I feel in love with the wonders of Molly and McGee and the 3 clutches. I wish I could give Carlos,Donna,Austin and all the MOD’s a big hug. I will forever be changed by this and hope that Molly will be OK. Can’t stop the tears but as I have been told before Life does go on. God bless you McGee and look over our precious Molly.

  525. Trisha Says:

    I am full of sadness, but what McGee and Molly brought to their species is nothing short of incredible. The further owl boxes around the world that were created because of them will be their legacy for sure. RIP McGee and my heart to Molly.

  526. Dearest Carlos and Donna,

    My heart breaks reading your news of McGee and the 4th clutch, yet through your generous gift of sharing their lives with all of us, my heart soars having learned about these magnificent creatures. The memories, the music & stories & laughter and the creativity that has grown from these 2 owls and their lives will always stay with me.

    Thank you very much for your caring and for your wonderful philosophical view of nature.

    My Very Best to You and your Family Always,

  527. Dee S. Says:

    To Carlos, Donna and Austin…
    Over the last few years beginning with the very first clutch…you have brought happiness, joy, concern and tears of joy into my life through Molly, McGee and the owlettes. I shared the first clutch with my 85 y/o Aunt and she also followed. When I told her of this last night she cried.
    I know McGee will live on in our hearts and want to personally thank you for all of your time and efforts to bring this Beautiful Family to all of us. God Bless you and God Bless and be with Molly…..

  528. Darlene from Oregon Says:

    Oh my goodness. How does one comment on such a loss as this. Like others have commented we knew this day would come, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. Some serious tears going on here. This whole journey has been such a blessing. It has been life altering. Life long friendships have been made. All because of Molly & McGee and of course the two of you Carlos and Donna. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It must hurt like crazy, knowing that the era of Molly and McGee is over. Now their “children” will carry on.
    Thank you for that magical journey.
    Thank you for giving us the show that is better then anything on TV or in the movies.
    Thank you for sharing this special world with us.
    Thank you sharing your home with us, for literally inviting us into your home.
    Thank you for the virtual parties that you threw.Your descriptions were so good I thought there really were all those people there. (not really)..
    Just a Thank You Carlos. I know Molly & McGee really took over your lives for while. For that we owe you a debt of gratitude.
    Thank you and God Bless!

  529. Debgboo Says:

    Here is your legacy Carlos and Donna: This is post number 524 and it will not be the last one. Molly and Magee, through you, have brought together people from all over the world, sharing the wonder of nature and the love of these wonderful owls. had anyone told me 2+ years ago that I would be spending time on the computer watching owls, or crying because one had passed, I would have said : never! But here I am, and here we are, and all of us better for it.
    And I was part of it, and it was fun because of Carlos and Donna and Austin, and because it’s shared by so many.
    Magee really is our navigator; he taught us all to fly

  530. "Ping" Suzanne from Virginia Says:

    How ironic. Having followed M&M since the very beginning, I was thinking the other day of unsubscribing to avoid just this eventuality. Remembering the past few years of pure joy, awe and wonder these little guys brought me, I had decided to “check out” and live in blissful ignorance–pretending that everything would be OK in their little world now and forever more. Alas, I was too late in making my final decision, and now poor McGee has made it for me. His passing bring back the cruel reality of nature, but also shows us the true cycle of life. RIP Leggs, and thanks for sharing your family with the Royals and the world.

  531. Colleen Poor Says:

    I am well aware of life and death for wild animals but still, this message you gave was heart rending. We all laughed, cried, cheered and grieved during the clutches of Molly and McGee and now, we have the big one to grieve over. Yes, McGee was “just a wild owl” but he gave us such pride in being a great provider for his family, a great lover of Molly and for teaching us all to fly and dream of life in the air and in the night. Thank you Carlos, Donna and Austin for bringing us their lives into our lives. I will hope for Molly that she can continue on, find a mate and bring more little owlets into this world. The circle of life will continue…

  532. Rhonda Says:

    I am so filled with sorrow – for Molly especially. I pray that McGee and all the sweet babies are truly soaring in heaven, and that when it is time, Molly will join her family. I pray God will give her companionship and that she will go on to be a noble owl. What a great mother she has been. I miss her terribly already. I feel like I am losing family. Carlos, I hope you and Donna will leave the owl box up for Molly and McGee’s kiddos to come back to and raise their own clutches. That would be the best legacy ever. Thank you from my heart that you shared this wondrous life cycle of Molly and McGee and all the clutches of babies with us. I am forever in awe of God’s miraculous handiwork. In all, He is good and to be praised.

    Rhonda – Titusville, FL

  533. Surrise Sunset Says:

    To Carlos, Donna, and Austin and to all the MODS…I send my tears and heart felt hugs at this loss…
    Nothing lives forever, but this was too soon for McGee and way to soon for clutch 4…..and the loss Molly is going through in human heart must be unbearable, but to an owl, lonely and sad…..
    Just as Carlos says, they are ALL TOGETHER in a far better place, and dad McGee is with them to help……
    May they watch over OUR Molly and may she go on, and one day bring home a new mate….
    BUT McGee……..we will never forget you…….NEVER….
    Molly, you did what you had to do….know you have thousands of people praying for you and that one day….one day…..your heart will sing again………….

    God Bless the owl box, and ALL that have been there, and now flying free in the tree tops, and those flying free in the clouds……….

  534. Rita in DC Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna, and Austin,

    I can only echo the sorrow and sympathy expressed in the many previous comments. And the gratitude, too; thank you so much for all the gifts you’ve given us!

    I’m taking the liberty of mentioning how eager I’ll be to hear further news of Molly and the owlbox, no matter what that news may be–how Molly seems to be doing, whether she sticks around, and so on.

    Again, thank you!

    —Rita in DC, AKA bluenoter in Chat

  535. AnnSavage Says:

    Could there be a connection between the “mess” in the owl box when Carlos feared that the eggs had been broken and McGee’s disappearance? Could he have been injured, but returned to the owl box bleeding and with feathers falling? It’s just so odd, and so very very sad!

    Thank you, Carlos and Donna, for all the hours of joy you brought the world by letting us get to know Molly’s family and your family.

  536. Donna Says:

    Carlos, Donna & Austin, I’m so proud and blessed to have shared this experience. I’ve been here since the beginning and never stopped, my laptop on 24 hrs a day. Thank you so much for bringing these beautiful owls into so many of our lives, I will never forget. I’m still crying and so worried about Molly. Stay strong sweet sweet Molly. McGee is flying free with the owlets and I’m sure watching over Molly. Carlos thank you for being our friend and teacher, we love all of you.

  537. Gill (hundon1) Says:

    So sad to read this. Thank you for everything.

    • PegRod Says:

      hundon – what a wonderful photo and tribute – and thanks to Molly and McGee and family many of us who had never taken a screenshot or chatted or knew how to really use our computers, learned about favorites, shortcuts, copying and pasting, updating and installing software, cleaning caches, and so much more! Many progressed in Molly and McGee University from lurker status, to chatters, to moderators to photographers extraordinaire! I love your photos, as I do all the photos that have been shared by our luvin gutz (guys aka chatters). All the while, we watched and observed life unfolding before our eyee.

      We learned how to use emoticons, too! Ustream’s tribute of the (hoot) emoticon for the barn owl will live on – 21 million hearts (<3) beating in One Owl Box World.

  538. Louise Says:

    Dear Carlos and Donna, I have been with you from the beginning and now I am sharing in your sadness. I can’t stop the tears from falling as my heart is broken. I tried to email you the last night but couldn’t get through it. I will mess my “legzz McGee”, he was a beautiful owl and a good provider to Molly and the owlets and you could tell that they were a family. God be with you and with Molly. I lost my husband almost 9 years ago and have been “flying solo” ever since and my heart breaks for Molly. I will be praying for strength for her and for you. Please know that I have gained much strength over the years in being part of your world-wide family of owl watchers and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Wish I could give you and Molly a hug. God Bless you for sharing the magic with me. I’ll be praying for you and Molly and hoping that we can all stay in touch. Louise in Fort Wayne IN

  539. Claudia Says:

    I have been crying for two days now. I learned so much from these owls. McGee and Molly changed my life forever. The sadness is so unbelievably deep in me. I love those owls. I keep hoping he returns…..

    Claudia, New Orleans, LA

  540. Karen O Says:

    Fly high and free our magnificent McGee. Carry ever so gently your little DeeDee and unborn owlets on your wings as you journey to the Rainbow Bridge. Kelly, Jody, and Dudley will be awaiting your arrival with such great joy. Always hold Molly close to your heart and send her strength. You were so loved.

    To all of the Royal family, please let your followers know if you see Molly from time to time. Everyone will worry about her.
    May your hearts heal and I know you will treasure the unforgettable memories. Thank you and may God bless.

    • Cherylanne Bramer Says:

      Such touching beautiful sendoff to Proud papa McGee, precious little DeeDee, and the onborn. Your words allowed me to dry my tears & actually see our noble McGee Flying free. Thank you Karen & God Bless

  541. Richard F.Seyfried Says:

    I just got the news from one of the other owlers. I am so sad to hear that McGee disappeared. Are there any guesses as to what might have been his assumed demise ?
    The antics of those two owls kept me from getting totally depressed during the first clutch . I was in a very low time in my life and watching those owls and all the adventures helped me as I guess it helped many who would tune in each day and night. Thank you Molly and McGee and thank you Carlos and Donna Royal for allowing us to share.

    • Mlhecox Says:

      Richard, I feel the same way as you. I was going through a painful divorce during the 1st clutch,. It was my savior in getting through it. Brought me smiles, and giggles, and love fromm all the MODs every day. Truly a magical experience, and i am grateful to Carlos and Donna,


  542. One can only feel such great sadness for something that brought great joy as did McGee. What an Owl he was.
    I truly loved him.

  543. Nancy Says:

    We knew it would happen someday. But, as I sit here I am bawling my eyes out and thanking God that we had the time with him that we had! We will miss you “Legs” McGee! Thank you Carlos and Donna for sharing him with us.

    Molly and McGee will always have a place in my heart!

  544. Theresa Atkins Says:

    Such sad news but I have the photo books to remind me of how beautiful and brave he was. Also very sad that the clutch didn’t survive. But I will keep in my heart all those beautiful owlets that they raised together. It was a magnificient accomplishmen considering all the perils of the wild that they overcame. I’m thankful that McGee lived as long as he did and I’m hoping that Molly finds another equally beautiful and brave mate and returns once again to the Royal Owl Box.

  545. Suzanne Says:

    I am so very sorry to hear the news regarding McGee and the fourth clutch. How devastating it must be for Molly. I know how sad I feel. I came in on the second clutch and have enjoyed every second watching these beautiful owls. Early on I had read their life span in the wild was very short but these were such special owls I guess I had thought they would live longer in your back yard. Do you know if Molly has flown off or is she still in the owl house?
    I want to take this time to thank you and Donna for giving us this special gift, someting I will always remenber. Thank You.
    Suzanne Hannah

  546. Saavik Leary Says:

    So sorry to hear this, I knew it would happen eventually but it is still a shock. It was a magical time and I will always be thankful for the great experience and the friends I’ve made because you shared Molly & McGee and thier babies’ lives with all of us. <3 (((hugs)))


  547. Liela M. Maielua Says:

    What a sad day its hard to put into words how I am feeling exept to say that I have a very heavy heart and many tears are flowing. Carlos & Donna thank you so much for letting us share all the good times we all enjoyed watching M & M and the owlets. McGee was one of a kind, I do hope Molly will continue to stay in the owl box. Please keep us posted as to her status.

  548. Your family has given us so much joy through Molly and McGee. They were such a beautiful pair. Such is the cycle of life.

    Thank you and God bless you.

  549. This is very sad news indeed. Although I did not follow Molly and McGee I had heard thieir names. We have a pair of barn owls at our home and if they come back it will be the second year. I am at a loss for words, the owls are so captivating. and so attentive to their young… One picture I have of mamma and she is literally asleep leaning on the side wall while the 7 babies are peeking around her , she is beat…. and devoted at the same time… they are awesome creatures. I am so sorry for your loss…I can only imagine the heartache of watching her realization…

  550. VAbrdr Says:

    It was with such a heavy heart and tears streaming down my face that I finished reading your post, Carlos. Such devestating news for our world-wide Owl community. Molly & McGee were so much more than a pair of “common” barn owls to all of us. They were hope; they were love; they were kinship; they were a connection across the world.
    My heart ached for Molly as you eloquently described her “Sophie’s Choice” of leaving to hunt to stay alive or staying in the box to keep her clutch alive, fighting hunger and continuing to hope that McGee would soon return. I feel confident that Molly will find a new mate and return to the Owlbox.
    May McGee never feel hunger or pain again for he was a very noble owl. May he fly free forever in our hearts.
    Big hugs to the entire Owl Community and especially to you, Royals, and of course to our dear Molly. May our wonderful memories ease our collective pain.
    I will play the Molly song tonight and I will smile.
    With big hugs for all,
    Missie M, aka VAbrdr
    A devoted “owl-coholic” since the first clutch

  551. Cindy Says:

    All things bright and beautiful,
    All creatures great and small,
    All things wise and wonderful,
    The Lord God made them all.

    Each little flower that opens,
    Each little bird that sings,
    He made their glowing colours,
    He made their tiny wings.

    so very sad to hear about McGee and the babies. I think they’re all flying together in heaven tonight.

  552. Kit Merritt, pcola, FL Says:

    Simply heartbreaking to hear about McGee and the 4th clutch. Love to Molly, the Royals and all the MODS. I am still glad I could experience the joy of Molly & McGee and the kids for these past 2 years. So very sad.

  553. Bill Wallner Says:

    Sad but, during the whole ‘event’, Carlos had stressed the real world of nature so; most everyone was prepared.

    Fortunately, we all got to enjoy the short life cycle and were, for the most part, prepared for the inevitable. Nevertheless, these barn owls became an important part of our lives and we will miss them. We are all the luckier to have been there. (The San Marcos rodent population may not agree.)

  554. Bill Wallner Says:

    Meant to add my heartfelt appreciation to Carlos, Donna, Austin and others for making this such a community event. So many new friends, all with a common bond of two marvelous creatures.


  555. Thanks for the memories, with a broken heartand tears in my eyes I will love you forever McGee, fly wild and free on the wings of a dove. <3

  556. Cherylanne Bramer Says:

    I’m nearly blinded by tears and can only imagine the the sadness You are experiencing ,Carlos, Donna & Austin. I’ve only been a hopeless “Barnie Owlcoholic” for a year now. One day I happened upon Bonnie and Clyde @ the “Hideout” and have been in love with these magnificent ,noble creatures ever since. I was blessed to be a chatter at Kangarobins, in awe of Mel & Sydneys clutch of 6 from hatch to fledge.
    Carlos my prayers for you ,your family & precious Molly are frequent;asking for your comfort during this most difficult time & that our merciful Father will fill that void in your hearts with the beautiful memories of “LegzMcGee” and his precious gal ,Molly….mates for life. You are owls “founding father” With love and gratitude Cherylanne ,from seattle aka ” Hooteh”

  557. Mary Cass Says:

    My heart is broken over this very sad news, may the baby owlet DeeDee rest in peace & beautiful McGee, he was a precious gift sent to all of us. May they fly forever free in Heaven. My concern is for Molly as owls mate for life what will happen to her now this is just tragic & so heartbreaking as we all have come to live & cherish the sweet owls. We Thank you Carlos & Donna, the memories will forever remain in our hearts. We love M&M & all their clutches, I have tears rolling down my face perhaps all our tears will be on the owls wings forever in flight like raindrops

  558. Patsi & Ryan Says:

    Ah, such is life…bittersweet, such sadness amidst the joy of all the fond memories. Thanks so much again to Carlos, Donna, & Austin for giving us this wonderful view into the lives of Molly, McGee, and all the kiddos. I’ve learned so much about owls, love, and life from watching. I’ve been here since the first clutch…I will never forget how connected we all were and are. Love & hugs to all…”d.o.o.” from happyart4u aka Patsi M from Fort Collins, CO.

  559. Karen Bauer Says:

    I was so very, very sorry to read about McGee.

    Know that he will live on in his descendants and will always be remembered by the people here and through Carlos Royal’s magnificent photographs.

  560. Kathy Van Buskirk Says:

    We haven’t been part of the “Owl Box” for over a year, did we really need to know this? Losing McGee, Dede and all of Molly’s clutch broke everyone’s heart. I would rather have remembered Molly and McGee, the whole “Owl Box” adventure, with a smile rather than sadness and these tears..


    • flukestail Says:

      Yes, we really needed to know this. McGee had become a part of our lives. And DeeDee and the remaining 3 eggs were little lives we looked forward to enjoying. This owl family, albeit unknowingly, shared their lives with us. We owe it to McGee to share in his passing. I am grateful Carlos & Donna let us all know what has happened. And even though my heart is heavy with sadness, I know that’s because of the gratitude I feel for what this experience brought to my life. And I will always smile when I remember the many stories we all witnessed of McGee with Molly and their owlets.

      • PegRod Says:

        Hugs to Kathy! Well said, flukestail. Some of us (MODs) have never left The Owl Box and visit Molly’s Blog daily to check for new blog entries, read comments and share – we will continue to do so. When the last Ustream broadcast ended, Molly’s world continued, both with updates and narratives of observations. We got to enjoy lots of treats, including the BlueBird Box, Field and Ustream Adventures, some reports of the Royal Retirement Adventures and more. I recommend that fans continue to subscribe, for you never know what surprises await in the future!

    • erindort Says:

      I certainly understand your feelings about this. For me, I have followed this bog constantly, even after the 3rd clutch fledged. Many of us feel we are stil part of “the Owl Box”. I would have been even more devestated to NOT know. Everyone is different.
      My heart was wounded to hear this, as was yours. But still, I am glad I know. (((Kathy)))

      • PegRod Says:

        erindort, wise words, and yes, everyone is different, and we have learned during the Owl Box experience that every barn owl, barn owl clutch and barn owl family is different, too!

  561. PegRod Says:

    Memory Lane
    Molly & McGee
    Third Clutch 2011

    March 15, 2011 – Majestic

    This time last year, Carlos posted a beautiful photograph of a majestic pose of Roark, the Royal Garden’s red-shouldered hawk resident. Carlos provided updates on Caleigh and Calvin the mating kestrel pair – who can blame them for moving on and not using the kestrel box, since Molly, McGee and family loved to use that box for a perferred perching location during their active nights. I can still remember the excitement when Carlos had positioned a camera so we could watch the kestrel box perching. Some of the most beloved photos are also shot at that location!

    The report and observations by Carlos on the Third Clutch include this paragraph:

    “The owlets are growing daily and Molly is starting to spend a lot of time outside of the box at night. This morning for example she returned just before daylight after being out most of the night. She did not return with food so we are not sure if she has joined McGee in hunting for food, which she did in the first two clutches. So far all six of the owlets continue to appear healthy. Remember, there are two that are much much smaller than the other four owlets.”

    Gee, McGee, we miss you in 2012!

  562. PegRod Says:

    North County Times Article (CA)
    March 13, 2012
    Now Online

    Thanks to Ruthrings and littleguys, some of us have received the link to this news story “SAN MARCOS: Molly the Owl loses eggs, mate” by Deborah Sullivan Brennan (thank you Deborah). Carlos may post this separately, but until then, here is the link. Be sure to share the link and make a comment online if you can!

  563. Karen (kbear) Says:

    As I sit here to write (like many others) with tears in my eyes, I am truly grateful for getting a glimpse into the world of these magnificent owls. We have personalized this experience, which makes this even harder for all of us. I had a dream last night and Molly was in a field by McGee’s side, nudging him to move, he would not. I woke up with tears in my eyes and could not bring myself to go back to sleep. My heart just breaks for Molly and I pray the statistics won’t hold true for Molly and that she will find another handsome male to be by her side as she brings even more beautiful owlets into this world.

    I think one of the hardest parts for me is that we don’t know what happened to McGee. Although, knowing may not make this any easier :(

    My daughter, who was 7 at the time of the first clutch, became such a M&M fan. She’d beg to stay up at night to see McGee and she learned so much from Carlos as he did the live broadcasts and Q&A’s. Carlos even answered one of her questions and she still talks about that to this day. Every time we drive past a construction site, she expresses how sad that the food for the owls has disappeared because of the buildings that are being built. She set up a live trap for the mice that venture into our house and just last night, we released one into the field by our house. When she opened the trap she said ‘now the owls can have a healthy meal.’ She’s now 9 and thanks to Carlos and Donna for opening their hearts and sharing this owl world with us, she is dedicated more than ever to owls and nature.

    McGee is flying higher than he’s ever flown before and he will continue to watch over Molly as she continues in this lifetime. May all of the followers find peace knowing that we lived this incredible experience thanks to the technology of our day. We have all grown and have learned so much more than any words can express from this glimpse into Molly and McGee’s incredible world.

    Thank you Carlos, Donna, Austin from the bottom of my heart. You have touched so many lives – many many more than you’ll ever know. Please keep us updated.

  564. flukestail Says:

    Look at this slow-motion footage of an eagle owl approaching the camera. Phenomenal! I’m imagining McGee doing the same thing on one of his hunting forays.

    • Helen Oakley Says:

      Beautiful bird and hunting technique, Fluke! When I started watching the first M & M eggs – the only thing I thought I knew was that owls made whoo-whoot noises. Oh how much we have gleaned from these precious birds’ antics and our interaction with each other around the globe. There is nothing that could replace the experience we have had together, including the loss of our favorite handsome guy – we tearfully share the loss with our “Royal” family around the globe! Love and warm hugs to all, Fairygram

  565. Karen O Says:

    Karen O (PortCreditTch1)

    Thank you, flukestail

    Hold on to my wings even when I am gone from you.

  566. Orionsstorm Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna and Austin;
    My heart is broken that we have all lost our handsome McGee. I sit here reading the hundreds of posts and cry along with everyone one of this wonderful owl family that you have brought together through your love of nature and beauty. We will never take for granted the wonders of God’s creatures because of countless hours we spent together with you in the “Owl Box”. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers as we go through this grieving process. Be safe and happy in your travels.
    Barb & Neil Polo

  567. Tippy Says:

    …And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
    Bear you on the breath of dawn,
    Make you to shine like the sun
    And hold you in the palm of His hand…

    –Michael Joncas

    “…the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
    blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).

    My heart was grieved when I saw the post this evening. It has been several weeks since I have checked in so I didn’t even know Molly had eggs. I feel for your sorrow, Carlos and Donna, but just wait until you get to Heaven where McGee will be able to speak to you. I’d like to imagine he’ll land on your shoulder and say, “Gee, that was fun, and because of you, I was part of it!” :)

  568. Krisztina Birdheart Says:

    Dear Carlos, Donna and Austin,
    My heart is crying for the second time – but this time it won’t stop! After the second clutch when broadcast was stopped I knew I will see them again – but now…. its just not gonna happen. McGee will be in my thoughts and heart FOREVER! McGee and Molly was a life changing experience and gave me so much joy and happy moments. I love them from the deepest of my heart and will never forget.
    Life goes on – Molly will find a new mate – that must and will happen but that does not change the fact that McGee, DeeDee and the unborn owlets will be missed and not forgotten EVER!!!!!
    Thank you Carlos, for everything and hope your hearts will heal! God Bless you and your family. God Bless Molly and I hope the best for her!
    I am so so so sorry for McGee………
    Kristina (Birdheart from Hungary) MOD FOREVER

    Rest in peace dear McGee

  569. PegRod Says:

    McGee recordings on Ustream

    Don’t forget the thousands of recordings still available to watch on Ustream. Some fans missed a lot of last year’s broadcasts. You can catch up and see how McGee and family matured. This is a recording from a mid-summer night’s (dream).

    This link takes you to the index of recordings under “carlosroyal”.

    More are found under “donnaroyal”.

  570. M Says:

    I was so saddened to learn that we lost McGee.
    Nature can be both beautiful and cruel.
    Thank you, Royals for sharing this wonderful experience with all of us. We couldn’t have done it without you.

  571. drsballou Says:

    Such sadness, grief, tears flowing, shaking and I write this is mourning of such wonderful lost lives. I have so much more to say but am unable right now. Thank you for everything.

  572. PegRod Says:

    San Diego Union Tribune

    New article with headline tribute!

  573. Madonna Says:

    Carlos , Donna and Austin: My heart goes out to you! So sad to hear, so glad this was not being broadcast…could not have dealt with seeing this..I know it is most difficult for you. I loved Mcgee…poor Molly…hope she finds another mate! Will be thinking of you all … love you guys. Madonna

  574. PegRod Says:

    KGTV Channel 10 News San Diego

    Please comment on these media sites and share all these articles!

  575. Diane Housley Says:

    I was so sad to hear the news about McGee and Dee Dee.
    I learned a lot watching and being part of the Owl family. I had been taking care of my mother during the second clutch, and
    Had gotten her interested in the Owls. My mom passed away last May, but I am so happy we got to share this wonderful experience together. I have those beautiful pictures of the Owls and their story in the books and calendar to remember them by.
    Thank You Carlos, and family.

  576. Nancy S Says:

    Thank you so much Carlos and Donna for letting us know about McGee. He was a beautiful specimen of the perfect mate for Molly. He will be sadly missed!

  577. Phyllis Wells Says:

    Just got back from Spring Break Trip. I wanted to check in and see what was going on with the new clutch. I was sorry to see that McGee and the clutch was gone. Carlos thank you for keeping us up to date on the goings on in the Owl House.

  578. Gisele Says:

    I have been watching Molly & McGee since the 1st clutch. Watching the owls & watching/listening to the Royals video’s & chatting with all others on the ustream site was such a joy. Each time McGee left to get food, I would hold my breath & hope he would return safely. Sadly, I read the article in the San Diego Union today that we have lost McGee. I came to this site to pay my respects, and to thank the Royal family for all they have done over the years to bring happiness, joy & amazement to my life & most likely to other lives all over the world. Molly & McGee & their owlets have been amazing to watch. I am glad I have the DVD & the coffee table book to view. You all have been wonderful & sharing the experiance has been beautiful. McGee will be missed. I hope in time, Molly will find another mate & will come back to the Royal’s owl box.
    RIP McGee.

  579. susan goldberg Says:

    I am so terribly saddened with the loss of Mcgee and his eggs and baby. Feel so sad for molly having to move on!
    thank you so much to the ROYALS for an amazing few years with Molly and Mcgee and all clutches.
    I look forward to more fun news….
    Suze GOldberg

  580. Sandra Younger Says:

    Oh, this is terribly sad. I cannot get it out of my mind. And yet, as you so eloquently put it, Carlos, both death and life are part of nature’s perfect cycle. No doubt, if your cameras had focused on a rabbit den or a mouse nest, even a gopher tunnel, we all would have become equally attached to a furry family and mourned when one of them fell prey to a hungry raptor.

    Please know what a wonderful gift you, Donna and Austin gave to the world in opening up a window on this one family of owls. It is not hard now to extrapolate and realize how amazing and special each of nature’s creatures is.

    The ripple effect of your sharing Molly and McGee with us will continue on and on. I am sitting right now at my kitchen table looking out at an owl box we put up this season, hoping to attract our very own owl family. We, too, are down to one owl after initially sighting a pair within two weeks of installing the box. We think the remaining owl is a male. He has a beautiful white breast like McGee. We hope he soon finds a mate and the cycle of life begins anew. And of course we hope the same for your beloved Molly.

    Thank you for all you have done, Royals, to share your reverence for nature with the world. We share your sorrow at the loss of McGee and the fourth clutch.

    Sandra Younger
    Lakeside, CA (not too far from San Marcos!)

    • TOPPSY Says:

      WELL Super-Duper Sandra!!!! Tell your guy,,,,,that Molly is available,,,,,lol,,,,,,dont they fly long distances anyhow? Cool, you can start
      a friend-finding site for Owls!!

  581. Carol Ann Bossemeyer Says:

    I am so sorry……I have had the owls on my mind and was hoping you would turn the cameras on. Well another chapter is over, and Molly has time to find a new mate. Best wishes to to all the Mods.

  582. kimi williams Says:

    this story was so heartwarming and brought tears to my eyes thank you for sharing your story to me and your other readers god bless you

  583. Christy Says:

    I sat and sobbed my way through the news of McGee. What an amazing little family they were.

  584. Deb P (CatnRoses) Says:

    Oh, sad, sad, sad. I guess we knew a really sad day would come, but always hoped it wouldn’t.

    I was so invested in the first two clutches. Sleepless nights, laughs, anxiety, drama! When you turned off the cameras, Carlos, I was just so grateful to even have had the experience you so generously shared with us. I fell in love with the owls, like so many others.

    With the cams off, I let things go til spring, when I tried to get interested in other cams; but that was not to be.

    So I checked in on you and yours now and then. It was kind of hard not to be able to see Molly and Magee, but I couldn’t stay away.

    I just caught up on email and saw the awful news. I am teary eyed, very. We know it’s all part of God’s plan, but…

    We loved our two little owls, and their owlets, who never had a clue about their impact, nor any idea about that plan!

    The cycle continues. On a brighter note, we do know that M & M’s owlets are out there!

    So sorry about Magee… And thanks again, both of you, for all you’ve done, and all you do. Blessings…

    Deb P (CatsnRoses)
    Salem, MA

  585. Linda Says:

    Thank you for all you gave to us…nature is beautiful and yet sometimes full of sorrow. Yes, McGee and the little ones are over the Rainbow Bridge. Our memories are precious.

  586. I’m so sorry, Molly and McGee will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you, Donna and Carlos, for opening the world of Owl cams to me…Judith432

  587. owls lovly said he died have been to a zoo the have 2 difrent

    owls one off them land in my head for 1 yer ago

    i hope this owl find her a male owl

    and hoply she gets owl kids

  588. Renee Says:

    Writing through my tears….can’t tell you how sad this news makes me. I loved the Molly and McGee saga and hopefully Molly will find a new mate and they will produce many more offspring. Thank you for letting us share in their lives.

  589. Carolyn J. Claussen Says:

    Thank you for letting me know about McGee. I was deeply saddened, the tears appeared and rolled down my cheeks as I read your message. Poor Molly. I hope she will find a new mate or find some sort of comfort with one of her offspring. It reminds us of how fast life can change and how precious each day truly is for all. We now only have some very beautiful memories of McGee/Molly and raising their family. Those precious memories,whenever I see a barn owl, or any owl for that matter, will remain within my heart for the rest of my life. Thank you for sharing this once in a lifetime story with the rest of the world. You guys will also always be remembered.

  590. Alice Muir Says:

    Now you can fly to the Heavens McGee and you don’t have to hunt anymore. God Bless You All for hours of enlightment

  591. Barbara Cobb Says:

    What a wonderful gift M&M and their clutches have been! Weeks have passed since I received the disturbing news. I think about Molly everyday, and wonder if she is staying in the Owl Box. At the same time, I wonder about McGee, hoping their is an explanation, but fearing the worst.

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing owl family with us!

    Barbara C.

  592. Laurie Bishop Says:

    Donna and Carlos…
    I am late in expressing my great sadness at the loss of McGee and the new clutch, and in extending my sympathy to you both and to Austin. I will never forget McGee–and Carlos, I have all of your beautiful photos of him in the first photo book.

    I wish we had been able to enjoy his life longer, but as you said this is the way of nature. And I had another thought.

    Molly and McGee brought awareness of the plight of the barn owl to the world. Owl boxes popped up all over, and barn owls gained fans by the thousands. Now, McGee has departed with a second message: our wildlife, and wildlife habitat, is precious, and its loss has very tragic consequences. I believe that McGee has reached many with that lesson.

    Today I read that Molly has a new “swain,” named Fearless, and it made me smile. I knew that Molly would bring home a new man in short order, and had been speculating on what his name would be…Fearless is perfect.

    All my best to you, and I look forward to your continued news of Molly and her family in Molly’s Box.

    Godspeed, McGee.


    • flukestail Says:

      “Fearless”? Knew an owl had shown up, but never received blog post of its name. Is Molly in the box with him? Update, please!

  593. Robin Says:

    Wow! I haven’t checked into Molly’s Box for awhile and was sad to read about McGee. As I sit here with tears rolling down my face with sadness. I sit here remembering watching the 1st clutch, what joy and excitment!! What a learning experience for all of us Molly and McGee fans!!
    It’s a bittersweet feeling as this just shows life in this world doesn’t last forever…
    Memories will be cherished of what we learned and enjoyed from watching this beautiful owl couple Molly and McGee!!
    Thank you McGee for the many memories you left each one of us!!
    Lord, thank you for creating these beautiful creatures!! It just shows how amazing You truly are!!!

    Tacoma, WA

  594. Julia Erway Says:

    I’m sooooo sorry to hear about McGee. I just heard about this. Even though we all will continue to be sad for McGee, we should be thankful to god that Molly is still alive.


  595. Mary Says:

    R.I.P. McGee and Clutch #4. McGee (aka “Leggs”) you were the best provider! So heart wrenching =(

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