There are hundreds of live-streaming webcams located all over the world that allow us to peek in on what animals are doing in their daily lives. You can observe bald eagles and owls in their nests, lions hunting in Africa, and polar bears wandering the frozen north looking for seals. There are even ocean webcams where you can check out sharks and whales. Visit Explore.org, the world’s leading philanthropic live nature cam network and documentary film channel, for a special glimpse into the wonders of the wild world.
Try this exercise!
- Visit www.explore.org. Browse through the content and get used to what they have.
- Choose 1 webcam to follow every day for the next week. The webcam must be “live” and observing a wild animal or location. No pets, zoo animals, or farm animals. As a good example, one of our favorites is the Decorah Eagles nest in Iowa; they have a baby eagle in their nest!
- You should plan on watching for at least 15-20 minutes each day and recording what you see.
- Use this form to keep a log of your daily observations. Make a copy for yourself. Fill out the top part once, and then copy and paste the table every day you make an observation.
- Here’s how to use the site to help you fill out your form: You can click on the “weather” button to see current conditions at your webcam. You can also take a snapshot by clicking the camera icon at the top. Where it says “Activity/communication/interaction,” summarize what your animal is doing during the time of your observation. What did you see? Did anything seem interesting to you? What questions do you have about its behavior?
- After a week look back on your observations. Apply these to what you've now learned about ecology: What relationships does this animal have with others in the community (predator, prey, competitor, symbiotic?) What biotic and abiotic factors affect its population? How do humans affect it?