Live cameras connected to the Web can be either incredibly fascinating or amazingly dull. Bypassing the absurd (such as The Peeling Paint Webcam), I’ve assembled a collection of animal cams that includes a virtual zoo, wild English badgers and a very busy bird feeder. All these images are live and some are only visible during daylight hours, so I’ve noted the time zone of each site.
BBC Nature Animals5 stars
During daylight hours, BBC focuses on a bird feeding station in the woodlands of North Somerset. At night, it's Badgercam from Devon Badger Watch in Tiverton. What makes these cams special is all the additional information (about birds and badgers) that is just one click away. Be sure to visit the Devon Badger Watch homepage for details about the Barton badger clan. Remember, the posted viewing times are in England (Western European Time), and are four hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
National Zoo Webcams5 stars
With ten live animal cams, you don't have to be in Washington D.C. to enjoy the National Zoo. For the best virtual zoo experience , visit when the staff is focusing the cameras on the animals. For the giant pandas Mei Xiang (newly pregnant) and Tian Tian, those times vary from day to day, but are posted here. For a look outside the zoo's enclosures, at the many wild animals and plants that call Rock Creek National Park home, try the Backyard Biology cam. (ET)
Pet Kingdom Live3 stars
If it's Saturday, this must be the puppy playpen. Each day of the week, the folks at Pet Kingdom in Ft. Myers, Florida, focus their cam on a different part of their bustling pet store. And at night, nocturnal animal lovers can see the adorable degu, a small South American rodent that reminds me of a hamster. While the animals aren't always easy to see, blocked, for example, by hoards of store patrons, Pet Kingdom Live is still a fun stop. (ET)
I love bird watching, and do watch the birds at the feeder outside my home office window whenever I remember to fill the feeder with seed. For those without such a view (or those too lazy to fill the feeder) here is an opportunity to bird watch at a feeder that is never empty and always seems to have happy customers. (ET)
Feldman, Barbara. "Animal Cams." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 3 Sep. 2003. Web. 30 Sep. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/animalcams/ >.
By Barbara J. Feldman. Originally published September 3, 2003. Last modified March 14, 2014.
The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!