If the subject of the discussion is great aquariums - or for those who remember their high-school Latin, aquaria - the one located along Cannery Row in Monterey, California is all but certain to be mentioned. For over twenty-five years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has provided education, entertainment, and important conservation information to its nearly two million annual visitors.
However as not everyone can make the trip to to see it in person, the creative staff of the Aquarium has established a number of online cameras to enable people all around the world to view some of its most remarkable exhibits - such as the aviary, the penguin exhibit, the kelp forest, and the colossal 1.2 million gallon open sea display with its sharks, sea turtles, and giant bluefin tuna.
As the cameras are not live during the night, the Aquarium provides recorded footage of what they have recorded in place of the live feed during off-hours so that even when the lights go out the wonder of these superb exhibits can be seen and enjoyed by all.
For more interesting photos and videos of wildlife, please visit the Wingscapes Photo Gallery, Youtube channel and Facebook page.
Remember all those nature documentaries about Africa where half a dozen small birds are seen perching on the back of a rhino? Well they’re not just there for the view; they help keep the animals on which they perch free of annoying fleas and ticks and in return get an easy meal of the creatures they pick off the rhino’s back. It’s called mutualism - an interaction between two different species that benefits both.
And it’s not just limited to large African animals. Wingscapes BirdCam 2.0 user Mfthom recently recorded this great video clip of a mutualistic interaction between a Mule Deer and a Western Scrub-Jay. Neither one seems bothered in the least by the other’s presence and both are getting something from one another that each needs; natural harmony at its finest.
To see more Scrub-jay and Mule Deer photos, visit the our Photo Gallery, as well as the Wingscapes YouTube and Facebook pages.
From AMC’s The Walking Dead to Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to the near-continual references to the zombie apocalypse on television, radio, and social media, you’d think that the planet was literally teeming with blood-thirsty hoards of the undead just waiting for their next victim around every corner.
It’s all make-believe, of course. However we did stop and wonder if there might not be at least a little something to it when we saw this BirdCam 2.0 image of a Red Fox that Derek sent us from Malvern, UK. We’re pretty sure it’s not a member of the undead but it does have a certain look in its eyes that gives us pause.
Perhaps you better make sure you stick with a group when going out into the night this All Hallows Eve - just to be on the safe side.
For more unearthly fox photos, check out our Photo Gallery or stop by our Facebook and YouTube pages.
You have to admit, at first glance this BirdCam 2.0 image of a pair of night-time visitors to the bird feeders in Sandy’s Exeter, Pennsylvania backyard looks more than just a bit like a lone deer with a Davy Crockett fixation. This isn’t the case, of course; very few deer actually wear coonskin caps.
It does make for an interesting image, though - particularly in just how close these two very different creatures are to one another with the presence of neither one seeming to bother the other. As Sandy mentions in the caption to the picture, they are dining on the bird food she makes that has fallen from the bird feeders overhead. It must be quite tasty bird food indeed!
Be sure to check out our Photo Gallery for more images of deer and raccoons. Also, stop by for our Facebook and YouTube pages for more awesome wildlife photos and videos.
Urchin, hedge-pig, Mrs. Tiggy-winkle - call them by what name you will; no backyard or garden mammal has inspired quite the amount of interest and affection as Erinaceus europaeus, the Common Hedgehog.
Not related to porcupines (which, unlike hedgehogs, are rodents), these waddling, prickly little creatures - such as the one pictured here that we recently added to our Wingscapes Life List thanks to Roy in the U.K. and his BirdCam 2.0 - have developed an especially strong following in Britain where they are the focus of both conservation groups such as the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and wildlife care centers such as Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital.
However popularity sometimes comes with a downside. Hedgehogs have become very popular as pets over he past few years, producing a conundrum that author Hugh Warwick examined in his recent and very interesting book The Hedgehog’s Dilemma: A Tale of Obsession, Nostalgia, and the World’s Most Charming Mammal, a book we highly recommend to all who would like to learn more about hedgehogs.
For more unusual wildlife, please visit the Wingscapes' Youtube channel and Facebook page.
When it comes to watching bears in the wild, it’s difficult to imagine a place better suited to it than Alaska’s Katmai National Park - and within Katmai the best place to see the park’s Brown Bear population going about their daily business is along the Brooks River where they gather in large numbers to take advantage of the plentiful salmon to be caught there during the annual migration of these large (and tasty) fish.
Click here for the Brooks Fall BearCam
Of course, not everyone can make the trip up to Katmai; which is why the National Park Service and Explore.org have joined together to establish a webcam at Brooks Falls through which anyone with an Internet connection can now view them engaged in their annual salmon feast. The National Park Service has even published a free downloadable eBook to explain the bears and their natural history.
Although it may look like they’re serious, this night-time tussle between these two Red Fox kits recorded by Wingscapes enthusiast extraordinaire Nancybirdies using her BirdCam 2.0 is far more about fun than fighting. Of course, as with most - if not all - young mammals who are grow up with siblings, there is a bit more than just playing happening.
By engaging is such wrestling matches, these foxes are building up their strength, agility, and stamina, as well as determining which one is the stronger of the two; all things that will become much more important to their lives as adults.
However for now, they don’t seem to be that all concerned about such future matters and are simply having a bit of nocturnal fun and games. In fact, we enjoyed seeing their frolics so much we made this as well as Nancybirdies’ two other red fox images in this series Wingscapes Staff Favorites.
Although it might look somewhat like the domestic Water Buffaloes found on farms throughout Asia, the African, or Cape, wild African Buffaloes are a dramatically different creature indeed! For one thing, it is decidedly not domesticated - just ask any hunter or villager who has lived near them. These massive animals have a reputation for aggression, viciousness, and being down-right mean. (They are said by some authorities to be “placid” if left alone, but at 1,500 pounds and sporting a set of massive pointed horns that are decidedly not just for decoration, we’re not volunteering to find out.)
Thus if you want to photograph one, perhaps the best way to do it is to use, as John in Tanzania did, a Wingscapes BirdCam 2.0. When we saw that he had uploaded this amazing image to the Wingscapes Facebook page, we were overjoyed as it is the first such picture of this creature ever share with us. Well done indeed John - and thanks!
After a long day scampering through the trees, there are few things a hard-working squirrel likes to do more than belly up to their friendly neighborhood bar for a “crunchy one.” And just like all good proprietors of such establishments, Jackie in Citrus Heights, California knows her regular patrons by name - like Stumpy here, photographed by a Wingscapes BirdCam 2.0 - and just what they like.
Squirrel at the bar
Stumpy is looking pretty chipper in this picture. When she first started showing up at Jackie’s squirrel bar, Stumpy had a badly damaged tail (never a good thing for a squirrel as their tails aren’t just used for balance but communication as well). We’re glad to see she’s doing much better now.
When we saw this Aububon BirdCam image of a pure white squirrel uploaded to the Wingscapes Photo Gallery by Carol in Hendersonville, North Carolina, we thought it was Christmas all over again! After all, how may times do you see such a great photo of such an unusual animal.
While the pure white fur on this squirrel would be commonly thought a sign of albinism, its dark rather than pinkish-red eye tells us that rather than being an albino it is actually leucistic - a condition that can produce anything from white patches in the fur of a mammal (or the feathers of a bird) to an overall washing-out of color to, as in this case, a completely white coat.