Sunday, December 29, 2013

WONDERFUL Live Animal Cams for Little Ones!

Hello!  Today I am excited to pass on a few links to some absolutely WONDERFUL live animal cams that your little students will be sure to love and learn a lot from!  Just wait til you see how beautiful the animals are!  Can you imagine what an enriching experience this is for young children, and what a great way this is to encourage language skills?  It's like having a field trip right there in your classroom!  All you need is a computer and internet access.

Just in case you have never heard of a live animal cam, this is simply a live video camera that is broadcast on the internet for anyone to see via "live streaming."  These cameras are usually pointed at places where animals either live, nest, or gather, and most of the time you and your students can watch them free of charge (except that you'll have to get past the commercials first.)  If you visit reputable animal cam sites, you won't need to worry about "other content" making its way onto your screen.

The video above was captured from the live nest cam pointed right at the mother's nest!  Her two babies hatched today, Dec. 29th, 2013.  Then the owner of the camera posted the video on YouTube just to document that special moment.  But you can still follow the progress of the little hatchlings live until they fly away from their nests!

This is a still photo from "Phoebe Allen's" Live Hummingbird Cam.

When I use live animal cams in my classroom, I try to log on when I first arrive in the morning, and let the commercials play before the children arrive.  Then I let the live streaming video of the animals run while the children come in and get settled for the morning, put their things away, and while I take attendance.  I always find it a little funny to take attendance with a live animal cam running behind on a big screen right behind me!  I'll be calling out names, and suddenly there will be a loud "Whoa!!!!!" from all of the kids!

This is another still phtoo of the hummingbird nest after one of the eggs hatched.

One year, we were watching a live eagle cam when the mother eagle returned to the nest with a live frog, which the little eaglets quickly tore from limb to limb and ate!  Ewwwww!  Well, we had to have a "little chat" about the food chain, and how everyone in our classroom also eats other animals any time they eat meat.  Luckily, there were no tears for the poor froggie- just a lot of fascination about what was going on.

This is a still photo from the Southwest Florida Live Eagle Cam.

 Click here to see a Barn Owl Nesting Box Live Animal Cam from Oceanside, CA.  At the the time of the writing, the owls are nesting and will be laying eggs in about 2-3 weeks.  After that, they will be in their eggs for about a month before they hatch.

This is a still photo from the Barn Owl Nesting Box Live Animal Cam.

Click here to see a live animal cam from the African Watering Hole called Pete's Pond!  The only problem with this type of live animal cam that is out in the true wilderness is that you may or may not see any animals when you log on- which is just like being out on a real, live, safari!  So sometimes it is better to view the videos they have captured from the watering hole instead.  Another thing you can do is sign up for alerts via Twitter or some other social media so that you receive a message when a live animal is sighted at the watering hole.  This is the link for the "Pete's Pond" watering hole Facebook page!

This is a still photo of three hippos visiting the "Pete's Pond" watering hole in Botswana, Africa!

I hope that you enjoyed this blog post!  Please visit me on my own blog at, and sign up for the email updates!  You can also see my upcoming presentations here.
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Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year for you and yours!
Heidi Butkus

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