A couple of years ago, I set up a second computer display on my desk as a tool to improve my productivity. Turns out, though, I’m not a work-on-two-screens kind of person. I’m a work-on-one-screen-and-stream-animal-cams-on-the-other kind of person. Which means I’m also the kind of person who has a long list of animal cam links on regular rotation in my bookmarks bar.
The list below, in no particular order, includes 9 cams I find myself returning to again and again. I find these cams heartening because, like many people, I just love watching animals. But I also love these cams because they are an antidote to the despair I sometimes feel when it seems people are only growing more distant from the animals that share our planet.
There is hope and magic here in these living glimpses of a wild world that would otherwise remain hidden and unknown to us. So I hope you’ll check these out and share any of your own favorites in the comments. (And if you know of anyone who has a good reptile cam, please let me know. I’d really like to add one to my list.)
It’s important to note here that the majority of cams on this list owe a tremendous debt to Explore.org, a philanthropic media organization and division of the Annenberg Foundation. Their site is an amazing compendium of animal cams, from bears swimming in the Katmai to a family that raises great danes to be service dogs. You can also subscribe to Explore.org’s YouTube channels and even sign up for text alerts if something cool is happening on one of the cams you like.
But be warned: the sheer volume of animal cam goodness can be overwhelming. The first time I discovered explore.org, I lost an entire day.
Underwater Penguin Cam
Aquarium of the Pacific
The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California has a fantastic portfolio of animal webcams in many of their exhibits. The underwater penguin cam, and the weedy seadragon cam mentioned below, are my favorites. There’s just something about watching animals swim or drift underwater that I could watch for hours. (Especially when I’m on deadline, or a conference call.) If you need even more penguin streaming action, there’s also an above water cam in the enclosure and a cam in the nest boxes.