Most of us think of Live Cams as tools for security, making webcam videos of yourself, or allowing people to view tourist attractions from their computers.

But the real fun comes in another use that is all smiles and wonder: viewing wildlife, in real time, often as close as one meter. There is even a live cam placed in a puffin burrow, so close to the mother and chicks that they are life-sized on a laptop screen!

Here’s a screenshot I just took while watching the mother puffin tuck her two chicks underneath her:

Image: A Puffin sitting in its burrow

Source: Explore

Have you come across the Audubon’s EXPLORE website? Their live cams all over the earth are trained on various exciting things in the natural world, 24/7. In fact, we could re-write this article in every season of the year, because this amazing website keeps up with changes in all sorts of animals’ lives, their habitats, and raising their young.

Take a look at what’s going on inside the puffin burrow…

Here’s another taste of the wonder this website can bring us all:

As I was just watching the Audubon Explore live cam trained on a hummingbird nest, I took this screenshot

Image: A mama hummingbird feeding her babies in the nest

Source: Explore

photo for you! I thought the babies were cute enough, but then the mom flew in and fed them!.. In real time, as I watched!

See what’s happening over at the Live Cam trained on a hummingbird nest. Looks like the babies are getting pretty big for a nest which is only the size of a tennis ball cut in half! Take a look.. (Keep in mind it has to be daytime there in California.)

If the baby hummingbirds have fledged before you find this article, or it’s dark there, try the Great Horned Owl nest cam. Here’s a screenshot  I just took from that one:

Image: An image taken right before an owl took flight

Source: Explore

Click on this link to see what’s happening over there: http://explore.org/live-cams/player/great-horned-owl-cam

Here’s something really mesmerizing: check out the constant chaos of the walrus colony on Round Island:

http://explore.org/live-cams/player/walrus-cam-round-island 

And as for the puffins? You can get into their nesting burrow or see them out on the rocks coming and going. Here’s a photo screenshot I took from the live cam on the rocks:

Image: Puffins gathered on a rock

Source: Explore

Keep in mind that it has to be daylight where the cam is located or you will just see blackness. Here’s the link to the Puffin Colony: http://explore.org/live-cams/player/puffin-burrow-cam 

One last Live Cam I couldn’t take my eyes off was the one trained on a watering hole in Africa, frequented by hippos and elephants. Here’s the screen shot I took moments ago when 3 elephants were taking a mud bath at the side of the river. Fascinating!

Image: Elephants at a watering hole

Source: Explore

Click here to get to the African Live Cam.

That said, you can go directly to their website at Explore.org and look at dozens of other Live Cams in places that might be daylight when you are viewing.

Oh! One last thing to have a look at in the summer, the grizzly bears are in a frenzy of feeding on salmon in Alaska at the time of this update and you can watch them live, if it’s daylight there – between 8am and 5pm Pacific Standard Time.

Image: An image taken right as An Alaskan brown bear catches a jumping salmon, Brooks Falls. Brooks River, Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA,

Source: Ocean Light

There are four different cameras covering four different live angles, so there is sure to be a bear to watch as it goes about his life. You can click on any of the 4 different views depending on which one has a bear on camera. If there are no bears for a few minutes, relax. They tend to pan the cameras around to find bears for us. Be patient. When I tuned in today there were 5 bears on camera. Fascinating! We found it rather calming. Something we could relax and watch for a few minutes just to come out of our own stressful, warp drive lives. Click HERE to see what the bears are up to.

Be patient with this website and you will be rewarded! It’s a little slow to load, and if you are looking at night, you’ll have to work harder to find a camera live feeding where it is daylight.

Outside of that, it’s one of the most enjoyable places on the web. Enjoy!

Meanwhile, check back in with us tomorrow, and stay open, curious and hopeful!

~ Dr. Lynda

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Notes:

  1. “EXPLORE HIGHLIGHT | A Day in the Loaf of Puffins.” YouTube. EXPLORE.org Films, 18 July 2014. Web. 14 Jan. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RggnaLRNHuQ>.
  2. “Bella Hummingbird Feeds Her Babies – Live Cam Highlight.” YouTube. Explore Birds, 21 May 2015. Web. 14 Jan. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUQtbH-HyqI>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.