Today’s guest blogger is Jeff Click, the broadcaster behind Alessondra’s OKC Great Horned Owl-Cam.
What the heck is a “pip”? And is there really such a thing as a “pip-squeak”? You’d know if you were a regular viewer of Alessondra’s Great Horned Owl Cam. We’re having a ball, or an egg (3 of them this year), in our third year live-streaming on Ustream. Alessondra is our 8 year old homeschooled daughter who discovered a family of Great Horned Owls who regularly perched on her bedroom window planter box. As homeschooling parents who try to leverage every life experience as a learning opportunity, we set up the cam so that Alessondra could have a bird’s eye view of the process from another computer downstairs, and Ustream made this possible. As she observed the owls, she named them “Mr & Mrs. Tiger,” due to the fact that their feather markings look like Tiger stripes. Later, we learned that this breed of owl is known among certain Native American tribes as, “The Flying Tiger.”
So 3 nesting seasons later, Alessondra continues to learn new things about The Tiger Family, along with 3.5 million of our newest friends who have watched the stream. Today we announced “pip number 2”. A “pip” is the first sign of hatching, as an owlet penetrates the shell and makes its first break for the great wild. Pip 2 follows yesterday’s Pip 1, and the Tiger Family has one more egg that will hopefully pip within the next 3 days, for a total clutch of 3 owlets. It’s all being streamed live through Ustream, with views as close as 18” away from the eggs. And since Mrs. Tiger “coos” to her eggs, and the pipped owlets chirp back, it means you can, literally, hear a “pip squeak”!