RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA (AP) — Viewers of a web camera streaming images of a nest of eight barn owls want a Southern California ranch to intervene because one of the chicks appears to be in declining health.

Starr Ranch Sanctuary manager Peter DeSimone set up the webcam showing the owl family’s daily life inside a large cavity of a 100-foot eucalyptus tree. The http://www.starrranch.org site has gotten more than 1.7 million page views and visitors have posted nearly 7,000 comments.

The Orange County Register says the scrawny chick is visible in the foreground.

Some are asking for the Audubon Society to save the chick.

The Audubon Society runs the 4,000 acre ranch in Trabuco Canyon, which is north of Rancho Santa Margarita and about 56 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (4)
  1. Jack says:

    Leave mother nature alone.have you heard of survival of the fittest? Humans always meddling in

  2. Wendy Mccullough-Beckley says:

    As sad as it is, let nature take its course. The mother probably realizes the chick is ill or whatever and is neglecting to feed it. That is how it works out there. We as humans have no right to intervene in this matter. Furthermore, if humans disturb the nest at all for any reason there is the risk of the mother neglecting ALL of the chicks after that and then all 8 will perish. . . . . mother knows best in this case, so let it be . . . I am an animal lover through and through but you shouldn’t mess with nature in this case . . .if there was abandonment or if the mother was killed, then yes, definately we should intervene . . .but not in this instance . .

  3. Jan says:

    Humans have a lot to learn from Mother Nature. No meddling in mother owl’s wisdom.

  4. Julie Hale says:

    altho I do not currently know the status of the owl at the time of my post… I will offer this as a wildlife rehabber who specializes in owl care…. NOTHING on this planet looks more sickly, more ratty, more in need of intervention than a perfectly health tyto alba (barn owl) chick…. I hope they left this kid alone and let momma do her work!

    Barn owl clutches ebb and flow with the number of vermin in the area… fewer available resources means that the parents will allow the younger to die while keeping the older alive with the few resources they have….

    IF this chick dies or survives, we need to give thanks to the barn owls for doing their job… but we also need to check our own habits to see if we have erroneously caused the decline of their prey….

    We gotta keep the balance, and these spectacular creatures are the ultimate litmus test of that balance.

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