Ever wonder where seals go in the winter? Ever wonder where all those baby seals come from? Ever want to sneak a peak of seals in their natural habitat off the Maine coast?
No, I hadn’t, either.
Then an editor passed along a link to the Seal Pupping Cam being operated by Explore.org, with help from the National Audubon Society.
Shortly after that, I was hooked on seals.
The Seal Pupping Cam went live at the end of last year, and an array of cameras on Seal Island — 19 miles off the Maine coast, heading southeast from Rockland — has been capturing periodic live feeds ever since. According to Explore.org, live footage is available daily from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.; during down times, archive footage is available.
Among the things that you may see: Seal pups being born, seal adults fighting, and bald eagles taking advantage of the food supplies on the island.
Some of the video isn’t for the faint of heart, but there’s so much cool stuff going on, I figure most folks can deal with an occasional graphic seal birthing sequence. Just be forewarned: You might see just that.
You’ll also see some pretty cute baby seals.
A neat feature of the web camera: When viewers see something they like, they can “snap” photos and catalog them.
Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Audubon Seabird Restoration Project, which operates a summer field station there, according to an Explore.org press release.
The videos are available to viewers thanks to a pretty high-tech operation featuring solar panels, microwave relays and several HD video cameras on the island.
Explore.org describes itself as a philanthropic media organization, a multimedia division of the Annenberg Foundation. Explore.org is home to more than 300 original films.
“Few moments in nature speak to the hearts of people more than watching an animal in the first days of life,” Charlie Annenberg, founder of Explore.org said in the release. “With the seal pupping cam, we are helping people escape the urban squalor, and if only for a moment, reconnect with nature in its purest state.”