Wildflowers, Bald Eagles & Otters! All from the comfort of your home.
Even under new stay-home orders issued because of COVID-19, people don't have to miss out on the wildflower bloom going on in Southern California. Live webcams are broadcasting the bloom, bald eagles nesting on the Channel Islands, soothing views from an underwater kelp forest, and frolicking penguins and sea otters in Monterey.
Whether you're looking for an outdoor escape or some citizen science for your kids, you can explore all of it from your couch. Here are some of the options.
Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve has you covered for a wildflower fix. Fields are turning orange as this year's California poppy bloom takes over patches in the park near Lancaster.
Yellow fiddlenecks, tiny red maids and the daisy-like forget-me-nots also are popping up.
While avoiding crowds at the beach, see the surf along the Ventura coast with Surfline: https://www.surfline.com/surf-report/ventura-point-overview/59c1970dbb6f23001cd20dd7
Channel Islands National Park
Miles of ocean separate the mainland from the Channel Islands National Park. Island Packers, which normally ferries visitors back and forth, temporarily shut down because of orders to stop all nonessential travel.
But nature is still happening on the five islands off Ventura, and these cameras give you a way to explore from home.
For a moment of zen, go underwater at Channel Islands National Park in a giant kelp forest: https://www.nps.gov/chis/learn/photosmultimedia/ocean-webcam.htm.
Take in the views from the highest peak in the park: Mount Diablo on Santa Cruz Island. It's 2,450 feet above sea level: https://www.nps.gov/chis/learn/photosmultimedia/mount-diablo-webcam.htm.
Learn more about our national bird in this bald eagle nest on Catalina Island: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC1-E0WHbfI&feature=emb_logo.
The bald eagle has been one of the comeback stories on the islands. DDT contamination took a steep toll on the islands’ bald eagle and peregrine falcon populations, along with many other birds.
But both have since made a comeback, helped by recovery efforts that ranged from releasing young birds on the islands to artificially incubating eggs outside of the nests.
The peregrine falcon webcam on Anacapa Island may require a little patience: https://explore.org/livecams/falcons/peregrine-falcon-anacapa. Falcons have been visiting, but there isn't a nest yet.
Life at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium had to close to visitors because of COVID-19, but that doesn't mean you can't keep an eye on the animal happenings.
See sea otters shenanigans here: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams/sea-otter-cam.
If penguins are more your thing, there’s a cam for that, too: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams/penguin-cam.
In fact, you can take a virtual tour right now: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/.