You want to get out and enjoy the warm weather.
You have plans for the weekend but have to wait a full week until you feel like you can break free! Did you know that viewing and listening to nature can have almost as much of a health (and sanity!) benefit as actually being outdoors? (Link to "Why Nature is Good For Us")
So if it's impossible to get outdoors this week, or you are stuck inside due to bad weather I thought I would provide you with a couple of great webcams, which are lovely (and sometimes sadly tragic - be forewarned!) to watch and experience. This works especially well if you are set up with two computer screens and you can just have this playing on one of them. I've been watching the Barred Owl camera myself (after my friend told me how much she was enjoying it) and I must say even listening to the sounds of the woods has me in a good mood!
So here are some options, near and far:
Local Peregrine Falcon
The Ottawa Field Naturalist Club's Peregrine Falcon web cam: these falcons have been nesting in downtown Ottawa for many years. I remember when I worked at Tower C in Place de Ville and my director's office was straight across from the nest - every week or so we'd see the falcon in the air hunting. There's also a great Falcon Watch blog that provides updates on local birds.
Innis Point Bird Observatory, out in the west end of Ottawa, also has a nest cam up so that people can view their Osprey nest online. This is a very up close camera (running on solar power) which gives great detail of the bird and young. The ambient sounds of Innis Point are a bonus.
Canadian Birds Including Grey Jay
Ellis Bird Farm in Alberta has some exciting nest cams including a Grey Jay this year. They also show some great screenshots of the parents building the nest and the newly laid eggs. As of April 13th the babies haven't hatched yet. Ellis Bird Farm is a working farm but also a non-profit conservation organization focused on Mountain Bluebirds, Tree Swallows and other cavity-nesting birds.
Red-tail Hawks, Ithica Pond Birds and Ontario Birds
Cornell Lab of Ornithology has some other great webcams including Red-tail Hawks in Ithica New York, a Pond Cam in Sapsucker Woods (Ithica) - oh those Red-winged Blackbird calls and an Ontario FeederWatch cam. So if you don't have enough room for a bird feeder in your own backyard (or you don't have a backyard) this one is for you! And each webcam has its own twitter feed so you never miss any of the action.
Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl Web Cam from Zionsville, Indiana. The president and CEO of WBU has this owl box in his backyard. Again, I love hearing the sounds of various bird calls in the woods and seeing the owlets when the parent is off finding food. It's also interesting to see how many others are watching with you - when I checked it out there were almost 500 people watching at the same time!
Bella the Hummingbird is a small Allen's Hummingbird that sets up a nest in someone's ficus tree annually in La Verne, (Southern) California. This nest cam is from someone's personal property - which is lovely that it is shared! The live stream is sometimes on the nectar feeder and sometimes on the nest. Check out "her" You Tube channel and you can also find more information including the Annual Clutch Log on the website.
Enjoy your nature viewing
and let me know if you have any favourites yourself!
-- Above Image - Screengrab of Cornell Lab Barred Owl Nest Cam Video --