Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nature Cams

Image source: bruce7: Cartoon Speed Camera in iStockphoto (20 January 2006)

Spring only lasts about 2 weeks in the Lower Mainland of BC. Almost overnight the tall silver maples that shade my yard in the summer come into leaf. The cherry, apple, and plum trees bloom. The little birds chase away the crows, and adult ducks stand guard near nests in the ditches that run alongside our road.

On Saturday there were eagles soaring on the thermals over my back field, so I decided to take a peek at the
Eaglecam on Hornby Island.

When I tuned in towards the end of the day the 2 downy grey lumps were awake and cuddling up to the parent. In the first clip ('screencaptured' by me) you'll see them sleeping but they do move a bit when the parent moves. In the second clip (from the website; posted in April), there are 2 parents feeding the young. This footage came from the Hancock Wildlife Foundation.

These are wonderful examples of using technology to observe natural phenomena that inspire a sense of wonder. What a great starting place for a project! What is the place of the eagles in the food chain? What are the greatest threats to these magnificent birds in our area: loss of habitat? pesticide sprays? threats to their food source? What signs of stress are being seen in the population? How would the food chain be affected if they disappeared? (Here's a link to a collection of eagle resources for educators.)

Image source: NatureLori1970: Bald Eagle in Flickr (3 January 2008)

What follows is a list of live nature webcams you can share with your students:

(Britain) New Forest Wildcams 2009 - Goshawk
*there were babes in the nest at this writing
(Scotland) Scottish Wildlife Trust Osprey Cam
* in Lowes Wildlife Reserve, Dunkeld
* also has a live chat room if you sign in
(Canada - Vancouver Island)
* allows remote camera control
(US - Washington) WildWatchcams
* bats, bluebirds, eagles, herons, martins, ospreys, owls, salmon, and seals
(worldwide) Live Animal Cameras list
* natural, aquariums, video clips
(US - Maine) Biodiversity Research Institute
* eagles, perepgrines, finches, ospreys, loons
(US - Pennsylvania) Live Wildlife Webcam
* forest floor
(US) Top 20 Wildlife Webcams
* Times Online article with links (Jan. 2008)
(worldwide) CCTV ( Wildlife webcams
* also has sharks, otters, penguins, squid, bears
(Australia) Australian Wildlife cam
* sugar glider, kookaburra, wattled bat, red bullant
(US) Dakota-Wild
* deer, birds
(worldwide) WildCam
* live streaming from National Geographic
(1 free livestream -- otherwise $)
(worldwide) Wavelit
* 5 zebras active when I tuned in
* elephants, flamingoes
(South Africa) SANParks Webcams
* 1 cam is in the Sahara
* has a live chat
(Africa - Botswana) Wildcam Africa
* National Geographic
(Canada - BC) Victoria BC Birdcam
* Victoria on Vancouver Island
(worldwide) Fishing on Oregon Birdcams
* live chat room; eagles, hummingbirds, hawks, owls, ospreys; great resolution
(Africa) Africa Web Cams
* Tembe Elephant Park watering hole
* hunters' website
(US - Maine) Bald Eagle page of National Wildlife Federation
(US - Cornell Lab of Ornithology) NestCams
* can help scientists tag breeding behaviours from archived photos
(US) Wildcam Grizzlies
-- National Geographic


Image source: Tennant in USC Interactive Media Division Weblog (18 August 2004)

A different kind of 'wildlife is pictured above. If you have a favourite webcam site (polar bears?) please share it in a comment and include the link.

1 comment:

  1. Well I have to say that I'm a bit biased in choosing my favorite because I actually visited the National Zoo and loved it but that was definitely my favorite. I linked to it from the top 20 link. There were animals in every webcam view I clicked on (Amazon exhibit was very cool!)....Another site that I came across is the National Park Service ( It has great teacher resources and games that are of many different difficulties so it can accommodate many grade levels.