Nature

Livestream Nature and Wildlife Options While Social Distancing

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For those looking for a dose of the great outdoors but wanting to do so from home, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has a livestream option on their official YouTube channel! The availability of great footage from within our state park system is amazing, and you and your family may even learn something in the process! (Does that count as an environmental science credit in homeschooling?)

In addition to the livestream option available on the TPWD YouTube channel, the department also has a tremendous amount of video uploads with various park features, Texas historic sites, camping, outdoor cooking, and outdoor activities, as well as wildlife. Speaking of animals, there are also a great variety of high-quality wildlife cameras with livestream feeds online these days. Here’s a good list to choose from if you or your children or grandchildren would like to see what’s happening throughout North America.

1. Channel Islands Live Ocean Webcam

Photo: YouTube/Explore Oceans

Channel Islands National Park has been called one of the richest aquatic environments on Earth. Their live webcam offers viewers a glimpse of marine life that is otherwise rarely available, capturing imagery from inside a kelp forest. Here, at Anacapa Island, close to 1K ocean species reside or regularly swim through. The experience is actually quite mesmerizing, complete with a peaceful sway and the darting back and forth of colorful fish in the ocean currents.

2. Explore.org – Audubon Osprey Nest

Photo: YouTube/Explore Birds Bats Bees

The Audubon Society offers the chance to get up close to an osprey nest like never before. The Hog Island sanctuary, where the live stream is established, allows for viewing of the nest area for two western ospreys. The nest is situated 30 feet above the sanctuary, located in Maine. In addition to the osprey live stream, Explore.org features various other wildlife cams for families to tune into while they’re practicing their social distancing during the current state of world health concerns.

3. Manatee Webcams – Underwater and Above-Water

Photo: YouTube/adoptamanatee

A manatee is a marine mammal, mostly herbivorous in nature, and often referred to as “sea cows.” Blue Spring State Park, in Florida, provides a manatee webcam showing viewers these slow-moving creatures in shallow waters. Seeing the manatee in its natural environment is a treat, because they’re usually quite elusive. Blue Spring State Park features both underwater and above-water webcams. Due to the warming of temperatures, and their season coming to an end at the park, the underwater cameras are no longer live, but showing highlights, while the above-water cameras remain live for a short time longer.