Technology really shouldn’t be surprising anymore, but it’s still just a teensy bit mind-blowing that we can get up close and personal with a pair of nesting eagles from the comfort of our front rooms.
Bird cams are enjoying a moment in the sun online, since it’s breeding season for many species. So, with Springwatch only a week away, here’s a few of the finest from across the globe…
The self-described ‘Netflix of Live Nature’, Explore.org enjoyed an explosion of popularity at the start of the pandemic, as nature-starved lockdowners flocked to its hefty catalogue of wildlife live streams. Though particularly popular for panda cams, the bird category includes eagles, hummingbirds, falcons, ospreys, owls, spoonbills, and a pair of giant Californian condors.
2. Loch of Lowes Osprey Cam
Ospreys are something of a darling for the online birdwatching world, and this Loch of Lowes cam is tracking a resident pair through their entire breeding cycle. Run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the cam offers a bird’s-eye view of a particularly photogenic nest above the loch in the heart of rural Perthshire.
3. Audubon Project Puffin
Set up on the cliffs of Audubon, Maine the Loafing Ledge cam captures the puffins from above, the boulder berm cam frames them from below, while the internal and external burrow cams do what they say on the tin. Four different ways to watch everybody’s favourite sea bird.
4. Southwest Florida Eagle Cam
Unsurprisingly, bald eagles are pretty popular in the United States, and the southwest Florida Eagle Cam captures the giant raptors in all their glory. There are three cams trained on the main nest, including a 360-degree panoramic lens, with links to several others for when the premier pair are out hunting.
5. Live From Fotherdale
Perfect for the viewer with a short attention span, Yorkshire native Robert E Fuller has set up several split-screen cams, and is currently tracking a barn owl nest and a kestrel nest from multiple angles all in the same frame. Owls are a particular favourite, and he sometimes streams little owls and tawny owls too.
6. Monterey Bay Aquarium Penguin Cam
They’re still birds, so it still counts. For a rather different genre of bird cam, the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California live streams their African penguin enclosure, complete with copious feeding, falling, and squawking. The stream runs 7am to 5pm Pacific Time, but if this doesn’t tally with your time zone, they often upload reruns.