Alessondra & The Great Horned Owl

 

Written by Lance Evans in the April 2013 Issue

Click Family

She just might be the cutest little girl in the world. As she ran across the den to her play area, she quickly grabbed a long banner, anxious to display last night’s art project. “Guess, what?” she asked. The excitement in her voice made you just as eager to find out the information she was hiding. “My birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day and it’s going to be an owl theme,” exclaimed Alessondra. She proudly displayed the banner that read ‘I love owls.’ Before you were able to respond, she quickly pointed out her favorite part of the drawing. “I actually worked hardest on the ‘L’ to make it look 3D,” she said. “I’m probably going to ask mom if we can play pin the feather on the great horned owl!” It only made sense for eight-year-old Alessondra to pick the owl as the theme for her party. It’s played a major part in her life for the last year. As she continued to talk about her party and her interest in owls, it was obvious that her knowledge of the mysterious creatures extended well beyond the information found in typical textbooks.

AlessondraAlessondra’s interest began in February 2012 when a window box outside of her home became the nesting place for a mother owl and her two eggs. Instead of scaring the owl away, Alessondra’s parents, Jeff and Deziray Click, decided to incorporate their daughter’s interest into her homeschool plan. “You can theme her learning based on what she’s into,” said Deziray. After seeing the owl’s vivid stripes, Alessondra chose to name her Mrs. Tiger. “When I did some research, I found out they were called flying tigers and I didn’t even know that when I named her,” explained Alessondra. The Click family decided to place the daily routine of Mrs. Tiger and her owlets on a popular Internet streaming site. Four eggs and millions of hits later, Mrs. Tiger has become an online sensation as people across the world watch her daily activities right from the Click family window. “We’ve had dozens of teachers contact us. They use it in their classrooms all across the county,” said Deziray. Jeff also noticed various benefits from the way that Alessondra is learning outside the box. “This experience was something so unique. We found a way that we could incorporate this into numerous aspects of her education aside from biology. She’s [also] learning about technology [and] how it can be used in unique ways to study animals.”

Owl BabiesThe family’s unique approach to education was not always their first option. Jeff and Deziray had planned on sending their daughter to public school until they had conversations with various parents who were opting to homeschool their children. “It was all God—He placed people in our lives. We had always thought we would do public,” commented Deziray. “When I initially decided to homeschool, I wanted her to love to learn.” Not only has Alessondra developed a strong love of learning, but her interests have also influenced other students and adults as well. After discovering Mrs. Tiger and her eggs, Alessondra refused to miss a moment of the live nature happening outside of the family’s window. Jeff and Deziray initially set up the camera to keep her updated with all the latest on Mrs. Tiger.

After researching video sharing sites online, Jeff came across Ustream and decided to use the site to connect Mrs. Tiger with viewers. The family didn’t think that their discovery would attract such a massive online following. “We’ll probably hit 1.7 million today,” said Jeff. The family has also received a number of heart-warming letters and posts from viewers. Comments from other parents have also showed Deziray the influence that the video stream has had on other students. “We’re seeing children choose nature over video games. How many times do you get to see an owl in the wild?”

Owl on roofThere’s no time for video games in Alessondra’s life. She’s too busy sharing her vast knowledge of owls at her various public speaking engagements. “She’s speaking to classes around the city,” said proud father Jeff. While there is so much to take from the experience, Jeff and Deziray hope that Alessondra continues to learn from the daily lessons offered by Mrs. Tiger. “Any life experience that you have is something that you can and should learn from.”

To watch the live video stream, go to www.ustream.tv/okcowlcam.

8 Comments

mike and kathy sizemore Says:
April 1st, 2013 at 3:27 pm
awesomeness!

Donna Nance Says:
April 1st, 2013 at 7:20 pm
I am a faithful follower of the T family....what a wonderful gift your family has given to all of us...It has been so wonderful to watch these precious owlets from eggs to almost fledglings...It is a stress reliever to check on them each day. Will miss them when they finally fly away.
okienhouston

Cheryl Ledbetter Says:
April 3rd, 2013 at 12:53 pm
We live in Cypress, Texas and are really enjoying keeping up with the daily activities of the T Family. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful experience.

Joe Bledsoe Says:
April 3rd, 2013 at 6:02 pm
Thanks for sharing the owls with us.I check in on them a few times daily, They have really grown large. Can't wait until they fledge and fly away.
We are visited reguarly by Barred owls and they ask us who is cooking tonight.

Becky Reaves Says:
April 4th, 2013 at 12:27 pm
Awesome story. The Click family are teaching children the love of learning in such a fun way. By sharing their owl story with others, children all across our country are sharing this experience, too. So proud of these devoted parents and the lessons they are sharing with others! You go girl, Alessondra, and continue to share the T Family!

Jane Alley Says:
April 6th, 2013 at 12:31 am
What an AWESOME treat watching the Tiger Owl Family has been. I've watched several times day and night since I found them on Ustream, and when Tigris and Teegra fly away they all will be missed. It will be sort of an "empty nest" syndrome. Thank You Click family.

Betty Summers Says:
January 2nd, 2014 at 6:30 pm
Does anyone have any idea when the nest will be active.
I watched all last year and don't want to miss this year.

Joe Bledsoe Says:
January 19th, 2014 at 7:19 pm
Surprised to actually see my comment from last year. Thanks. I am back checking in again, WOW 3 eggs that is interesting. We still have barred owls doing their thing around our neighborhood. I really like to listen to them. I have never seen a Great Horned Owl out in the woods. Only here or at the zoo. Thanks for letting them use your house to brood their owlets.
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