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Live Camera Feed Reveals the Mothering Behavior of the Rare Snowy Owl in Alaska

First Posted: Jul 05, 2014 07:13 AM EDT
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What's sure to brighten your day? Take a look at the live camera feed showing a mother snowy owl tending for her chicks in Alaska. The camera went live this week and is trained on a nesting site where as many of six chicks are beginning to emerge from a burrow near the city of Barrow.

"You're not able to watch the birds 24/7, even with 24 hours of daylight," said Denver Holt, a researcher at the Owl Research Institute in Charlo, Montana, according to the AP. "By having the camera, it just opens up another avenue and more periods of time we're able to look and record."

Snowy owls are actually the largest owls in North America by weight. They usually spend their summers far north of the Arctic Circle, hunting lemmings, ptarmigan and other prey as they raise their chicks and breed, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. These birds don't nest in trees, but instead create burrows on the ground. You can often find them sitting on or near the ground in wide-open areas.

This new camera is actually the latest addition in the Pearls of the Planet offerings of explore.org, which is the media division of the Annenberg Foundation, according to chron.com. This foundation provides live feeds from cameras directed on wildlife across the globe, essentially bringing a zoo to your computer screen-a zoo that allows the animals to remain in their natural habitat.

"These live cams are about more than providing an incredible view of bears or owls during an amazing part of their season," said Charles Annenberg Weingarten, explore.org founder and Annenberg Foundation vice president, in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. "What we are doing is building out the zoos of the future, where animals run wild and people from everywhere can feel connected to the experience."

Want to see the owls? You can check out the live feed here.

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