We’re the generation that grew up watching Wild Kingdom, meted out once a week, to learn about exotic places and creatures. Now, we can learn about any kind of flora or fauna (including the quirky human variety) whenever we want, thanks to the Internet.
Our partners at Grandparents.com rounded up this list of fun webcam broadcasts that educate and entertain. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing distraction or quality cute time with a baby animal or two, we’ve got you covered:
Penguin and Otter Cams
The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has several webcams, but the best are dedicated to its penguins and otters. Watch the African blackfooted penguins swim around, interact with visitor, and play. You can catch feedings twice a day.
The otters are just as playful and entertaining, and often have toys in their enclosure. You can see them dive in and out of the water and float on their backs. The otters also have feedings three times a day. While these cams are only live from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. PST, you can watch prerecorded video at any time.
It’s the scene of one of the most famous album covers in the world — where John, Paul, George and Ringo shot the much-discussed photo for Abbey Road. And every day, dozens of tourists dart into the busy boulevard, assume the mid-walk position, and attempt to recapture the Beatles’ iconic picture. The webcam itself is trained on the street crossing, outside of Abbey Road Studio, so you always have a front-row seat for the shenanigans.
See the webcam: Abbey Road
Located at the top of the NRG power plant in Waukegan, Ill., this peregrine falcon nest has housed mates and their hatchlings since 2001. Mary Hennen, scientist and director of the Chicago Peregrine Falcon Program, created the cam to better study this formerly endangered bird. Catch the mates, Patsy and Greg, as they lay their eggs and care for the hatchlings.
See the webcam: Peregrine Falcons
It’s almost guaranteed that there will always be action on this cam, which takes you to the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world — New York. Thanks to multiple webcam locations, you can watch yellow taxis whizz by, see brightly lit ads adorning grand skyscrapers and admire the home of the famous New Year’s Eve Ball Drop from different angles.
See the webcam: Times Square
Arn Owl Box
This box, set up on a ranch in Texas, houses Barn owls who come to make their nests, lay their eggs and raise their young. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch both male and female bringing back food for the owlets, who stay in the box during the night while the parents hunt. The camera is equipped with an infrared light, so the picture is clear and visible. Plus, the site gives up-to-the-minute updates on what’s happening in the nest, which means you’ll never miss a thing.
See the webcam: Barn Owl Box
Las Vegas Weddings
Step right into Sin City nuptials with this super-fun cam, trained on couples tying the knot at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel. Get a glimpse of all kinds of theme ceremonies, from Ancient Egypt to Elvis, complete with a pink Cadillac. When there’s no holy union in session, you can watch the staff set up for the next party or check out photos from previous weddings.
See the webcam: Las Vegas Weddings
Maui Surf Cam
Need to de-stress? Turn on the Maui Kai surf cam and watch the waves break softly on the shore of this Hawaiian island. You might even catch palm trees swaying in the breeze or — if you’re really lucky — a sunrise or sunset.
See the webcam: Maui Surf Cam
Great Dane Service Dog Cam
Get your daily dose of cute by checking in with the Great Dane puppies born at the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Mass. The little guys are raised and trained to become service dogs for people with multiple sclerosis, Freidreich’s ataxia and disabled veterans. Undeniably adorable, they nurse, sleep, and play — and get bigger all the time.
See the webcam: Great Dane Service Dog Cam
Explore colorful underwater seascapes with the Cayman reef cam. Located on the east end of Grand Cayman Island, inside a coral reef, it captures all kinds of tropical fish, shrimp and other crustaceans.
Note: The best hours to view this cam are from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. Since the cam doesn’t provide illumination, it will be dark once the sun goes down.
See the webcam: Reef Cam
Go inside an African safari and see what kind of exotic animals you can spot, from massive elephants to rowdy zebras. Once you see one, snap a photo and share it from the webcam page.
Since this cam is focused on a watering hole where wild animals come to drink, there’s not always an animal in view. If you tire of waiting, sign up for alerts that will let you know when a lion, water buffalo or cheetah appears (so you don’t have to keep checking).
See the webcam: Safari Cam with optional alerts
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