Yes!

05/28/2012

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Oh my goodness!  We just got news from Florida that their starter burrow, modeled on our Phase I project, has a case of successful burrowing owl breeding and reproduction in their colony!  There are six juveniles in Cape Coral right now, thriving and having a wonderful chickhood in their burrow right now.

Please see our March post for more info!  You can check out their site at capcoralburrowingowls.com.  Be sure to look into the live webcam to see their adorable owlets!  This is such an exciting step in the conservation of this important species.  It's really unimaginable for us right now... my team and I are just going crazy over this new development.  We never dreamed our project would work so well in other areas as well!  Perhaps continuing this technique will allow us to restore the burrowing owl to its former glory, and people will be able to see the improvements they will make on the environment around them.  Congratulations to the Cape Coral Burrowing Owl group on your successes, and we hope to hear more from you in the future!
 

Filming!

05/19/2012

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Today we went out to film some clips for the documentary in the field!  It was great and very fun, though hard to coordinate and get all the interviews in.  Overall though, it went very well.  We're really eager to see how it turns out in the end!  We will be posting our drafts of our documentary in various links later on, so keep an eye out for those!
 
 
We've come a long way since the initial sketches of "Burrow Me Out". (www.owlgame.weebly.com) I'm proud to say that it's now up on the web for preliminary beta testing! We originally envisioned a true, Choose Your Own Adventure game, with various pathways to success, but have only put up a single "true path" (all wrong options will lead to an "Oops" page prompting game players to conduct more research and choose the definitive, correct answer) on the web. Obviously, there is more than one correct option, but we want to keep things simple, at least for beta testing. When we officially, fully unveil "Burrow Me Out", more paths to success, that is, an owl colony, will likely be introduced. 

It occurred to us that "Burrow Me Out" might be a strange name. There may not seem to be any clear relationship to the Western Burrowing Owl other than the fact that if you repeat "Burrow Me Out" several times in a row quickly, it sounds something like "burrowing owls."  Our choice of game name stems from the desire to create something kid-friendly, as well as genuinely fun and conducive to learning. We attempt to portray the efforts of the San Diego Zoo as accurately and simplistically as possible, so as to provide an opportunity for the general public to learn about their ground-squirrels-as-ecoengineers-for-burrowing-owl initiative.
 
 
So far we've contacted: JournOwl, the Biodiversity Network, BirdLife International, the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network, Wild At Heart Owls, Cape Coral Burrowing Owls, On the Wing Photography, Wildcare Bay Area, California Audobon Society, Red Rock Audobon Society, and all local newspapers and magazines including, but not limited to, the San Diego Union-Tribune, Carmel Valley NOW!, Carmel Valley News Report, 92130 Magazine, ZooNooz, Del Mar Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times, etc.

We are awaiting replies and responses.
 
 
Today we started contacting conservation organizations and publications, starting with the San Diego Union Tribune and local newspapers, and going to global organizations like the Defenders of Wildlife Fund and Sierra Club.  We are now proud members of the Defenders of Wildlife activist group and Sierra Club Network.  We are also part of the World Wildlife Fund's Activist Network now!  Search us up and join in our efforts!
 
 
We finalized our documentary script today, and also converted all our HD movie clips into more manageable files.  We went through the clips today together as a team to pick out the useable ones in our documentary.  We also determined who would do voiceovers and cut down the script to be more documentary-like.  I can tell this will be a great documentary!
 
 
Now we're targeting burrowing owl legislation, determined to change the way officials think about and treat these beautiful creatures.  Today, we created our online petition, which will not only raise awareness about burrowing owls but also help us in our  protest against construction on burrowing owl habitat and unfair legislation regarding burrowing owls.  You can find our petition here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/174/554/099/save-western-burrowing-owls/

Please sign and help us reach our goals!  If you wish to send your own letter to legislators, our petition can also be used as a letter template!  Thank you so much!  Or go to the widget in the sidebar of this blog!

 
 
Really falling in love with burrowing owls...

We were watching some of our footage from our presentations, and just watching all the children raising and waving their hands, shouting out answers and suggestions and the teachers' expressions as we spoke about our work, and their passion is just contagious.  We visited one group who took a field trip the week before (at our suggestion) to the Zoo to visit the burrowing owl enclosure, and they had the brightest eyes and smiles of all the students we talked to.  This is, we hope, an experience that they will not forget.

And hopefully others will also get to see our work in action after we finish our documentary.  Today we made the first draft of our documentary script and scenes.  It's mostly an outline of information and key points and aspects we need to include.  It's very informational right now, not at all like a documentary, but we'll be refining it over the next week.