Empty Nest: Webcast Goes Dark as Famous Owls Leave
Wednesday, June 16 2010 @ 12:28 PM EDT
Contributed by: jkr
(June 16) -- It's a sad day for obsessed owl fans.
Self-proclaimed "owlaholics" will no longer be able to watch speckled barn owl Molly, her mate, McGee, and their four chicks love, screech and eat rodents via a live and continuous Webcam feed. The owl family that became Internet darlings, prompting blogs, a Facebook page and even a planned children's book, has left the raised wooden box they called home in San Marcos, Calif.
They also left their devoted followers with a collective sense of empty nest syndrome.
"Every story has a beginning, and every story has an end," Carlos Royal, who began filming Molly in his backyard in January, said in a Webcast
today. "This has been a wonderful story, a magical story."
For months, the round-the-clock footage attracted an astounding 8 million viewers, including students, wildlife lovers and more than a few housewives. But Royal and his wife, Donna, said their Webcam will go dark tonight. Wesley -- the last of Molly and McGee's owlets -- fledged (became capable of flying) on Sunday.
In the final dispatch of their online show, "The Owl Box," the Royals said the story had reached its conclusion.
"It's time to say, 'OK, this is a once in a lifetime event,'" Carlos, 67, a retired real estate agent and bird lover, told viewers. "It's time to put a close to this event."
Carlos assured Molly and McGee devotees that the family they'd come to love in nocturnal viewings is healthy and safe. "We had four owlets. They all fledged," he said. "They're all healthy."