Catching a sighting of rare wildlife is often a matter of being in the right place at the right time. But in the age of digital devices, there's a way to slip inside animals' habitats without leaving your own: live webcams.
When checking out webcams, keep in mind that many animals and birds are easier to view during nesting and mating seasons (typically in the spring), when they're often in the same area for an extended period of time. That said, here are three websites with exceptional year-round access into the daily lives of animals many of us don't often get to see.
1. The Vancouver Aquarium
The Vancouver Aquarium has great underwater webcams featuring beluga whales and jellyfish. The contrast of the jellyfish swimming across a deep blue background is mesmerizing. The aquarium also has penguin and sea otter enclosures available for live viewing.
Explore.org has a large selection of wildlife and natural live webcams from across the United States and beyond. The site also has a great photo capture application that allows you to share your snapshot moment with others through social media, email or download. Some of the current popular cameras include a puffin burrow, an arctic tern nesting ground, a plains bison watering hole and brown bears catching salmon. The site also has great information about the camera's current location, such as the time of day, sunrise/sunset times, weather conditions and updates about peak viewing hours. It's worth checking out the comment section, which often features beautiful moments captured by viewers.
WildEarth focuses mainly on wildlife cameras across the globe, broadcasting footage of everything from large predatory birds like eagles, falcons and owls, to watering holes and wolf dens. Some of the cameras have been broadcasting live for more than two decades. WildEarth also provides a wealth of information about the wildlife, including updates about what's going on with the animals right now.
Do you have a favourite wildlife or nature webcam? Share it with us in the comments!