A new live web cam offers a rare glimpse of an active snowy owl nest.
The camera is located in Barrow, Alaska, and is part of the 2019 Snowy Owl Project. This is the 29th year of the project, which studies the owls from June through September.
"This nest is part of our long-term research and monitoring on Snowy Owls in the Alaskan Arctic – the only place in the U.S. where they breed," Liberty DeGrandpre from Owl Research Institute said.
The snowy owl nest has five chicks. (Photo: explore.org)
The cam is a joint effort by explore.org and the Owl Research Institute. This is only the second time they've been able to offer a live cam of this majestic raptor.
"Finding a nest can be challenging, let alone live streaming from one," DeGrandpre said. "And snowy owls don’t nest every year."
Snowy owls became more popular with the release of the "Harry Potter" books and films, but there's so much to know about them beyond their beauty.
This particular nest is fun to watch because of the time of the year. Not only are the owls nesting and have babies, but the almost 24-hour daylight in the Arctic means there's no wrong time to check in on the owls.
"The chicks appear to be thriving, growing visibly every single day," DeGrandpre said. "It is an absolute joy to watch. That being said, we never know what lies ahead and viewers should be aware that these are completely wild animals."
You can watch the live cam below or the highlight reel at the top of this file where you can see the young owls and the parents returning with food.
It's common for snowy owls to build their nests on the ground, or better yet, on a slight hill, a position that allows them to keep an eye on potential predators.
The male owl typically spends most of his time hunting or waiting nearby to defend the nest if necessary.
The chicks in this nest are between 1 and 2 weeks old at the moment. They'll grow up quickly and leave the nest at around week 3, so enjoy this rare seasonal live cam while you can!
"Fortunately, there are five chicks here and, since their ages are staggered, this will lengthen the time we have to watch," DeGrandpre said.