Nightly News   |  August 09, 2010

Owl-caholics anonymous: Molly-watcher ranks grow

An owl named Molly and her brand new brood continue to captivate the masses online. NBC's Mara Schiavocampo reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and now to the latest internet sensation we told you about over the weekend. there have been more than 15 million views so far for a family of owls. that's right. there is something about watching owls, including baby owls hatching, that has caught imaginations all over this country. it's a sign of the times in more ways than one.

>> reporter: in san marcos , california, a barn owl named molly waits for her eggs to hatch. though all alone in this nest, she's got plenty of company.

>> there are 1,628 viewers on there right now watching molly.

>> reporter: call it bird watching for the internet age .

>> it's interactive tv . it's reality tv . it's comedy.

>> reporter: molly's home is an owl house overlooking carlos and donna royal's backyard. fitted with six cameras, it streams live video to devoted fans worldwide.

>> people don't get to see this in real life .

>> reporter: the video stream has gotten 15 million views. fans watching molly and her partner's first set of eggs hatch one by one. seeing them grow and fly the coop. and now, waiting for the next set of owlets to come out of their shells.

>> what is that's so mez me rising about them?

>> we have bad things in the world. molly has been nothing but good.

>> reporter: it's not the first time the call of the wild has been heard online. millions have taken a break to marvel at how similar we all are, playing with siblings, sneezing unexpectedly, snuggling with a friend. and now, welcoming new babies. two of molly and mcgee's eggs hatched over the weekend bringing life to the empty nest and a tiny bit of happiness to a world that can't stop watching.