For most of us, it can be difficult to get a daily nature fix. But thanks to cutting-edge technology, we can see, in real time, hummingbirds in South America and wolves in Minnesota. Here are 10 web cams from around the globe that give a glimpse into the daily routines of animals from bald eagles to ants to otters.
FARALLON NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, off San Francisco, CA
This live streaming web cam lets you observe a slice of the coast in Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, home to 13 species of seabirds, five species of seals and sea lions, and land birds. Great white sharks and gray, blue, and humpback whales inhabit the surrounding waters.
Watch: Farallones Cam
INTERNATIONAL WOLF CENTER, Ely, MN
Highly recommended: the wolf den cam. This morning, it showed a gorgeous white wolf and two others moving around the den. As the site explains, the den is the primary resting spot for wolves during the winter months, where they lie on beds of straw for added warmth. During the summer, they’re more likely to be inside, escaping the heat.
Watch: International Wolf Center web cams
OPERATION MIGRATION’S WHOOPING CRANE CAM
This live-streaming cam moves with the magnificent birds. They’re currently at their fourteenth migration stopover in Hardin County, TN.
Watch: Crane Cam
SAN DIEGO ZOO PANDA CAM, San Diego, CA
Live stream of Bai Yun and her 19-week-old cub, Yun Zi, at the zoo’s Giant Panda research station. The site includes information about the pandas, updates, and links to blogs.
Watch: Panda cam
Africam.com offers several options to choose from (look to the column on the left of the homepage): Cams in South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt, and North America. Under ‘Streaming Cams,’ clicking ‘Flamingos’ takes you to Kamfers Dam, where hundreds of the birds are milling about.
MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM, Monterey, CA:
The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a variety of cams. For those interested in avian species, nearly all of the birds seen in the aviary have been rescued from the wild, and those that fully recover are returned to the wild.
Watch: Aviary/Bird; Kelp Forest; Sea Otters; Outer Bay; Monterey Bay; Penguins;
BONAIRE NATIONAL MARINE PARK, Bonaire
The Bonaire National Marine Park monitors and protects this island’s marine environment and reefs. So it’s not surprising that the park has an underwater cam located about 50 feet beneath the surface.
Watch: Bonaire Underwater Cam
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM NATURECAMS, London
Here’s one for bug-lovers. The Natural History Museum has two web cams: one that tracks flesh-eating beetles, and another of ants. The site might say ‘kids only’, but it’s likely to entertain adults, too.
WILDLIFE FOCUS, Brazil & Ecuador
Wildlife Focus has two high-quality, live-streaming webcams. One at the Southern Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil's Parana State, and the site says you might espy the Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Black Jacobin, Blue-winged Parrotlet and the Plain Parakeet. The second web cam is located in the remote tropical forest of Fundación Jocotoco’s Buenaventura Reserve, Ecuador.
Watch: Southern Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil
Watch: Buenaventura Reserve, Ecuador
NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION’S BALD EAGLE CAM, Gorham, ME
This camera gets you right up near the nest, about 30 feet off the ground.
Watch: Bald Eagle Cam
And one extra: In May, check out the Puffin cam on Maine’s Seal Island.
Watch: Puffin Cam
Did we miss your favorite wildlife web cam? Please add a link in the Comment section below.