NATURE LINKS

These links should all have general nature interests. They include animals and wildlife, birds, reptiles and amphibians, insects and butterflies, zoos, wildflowers, and many more.


And you can be sure they are all appropriate family oriented sites. We have personally gone to each site to check it out. We want your web surfing be fun and safe.
We are proud to have been approved by "Family Friendly Site" and "Safe Surf".




Live Animal Web-Cams/ Animals/ Birds/ Butterflies/
Other Bugs and Insects/ Reptiles/ Wild Flowers/
General Wildlife and Nature Info
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These are some nice nature sounds with music.
You can pick which track you want to listen to, or just let it play random tracks.
If you don't want to hear it, just hit the off button, which is a nice feature.
And you can make your own Playlist at , using other people's music.



LIVE ANIMAL WEB-CAMS

The highlight is the Panda bears. But there are many other live web-cams: ferrets, cheetahs, elephants, flamingos, gharia ?, giraffes, gorillas, kingfishers, mole-rat, octopus, tiger and orangutans. This is one of the best live web-can zoo sites.


Another of the best live streaming zoo web-cam sites. Features polar bears, apes, elephants and pandas.

Another of the best live streaming web-cams. Features penguins, sea otters, sharks, kelp bed, inner and outer bay.
We went to the Monerey Bay Aquarium on our recent vacation trip to California, and this place is great. It is so much better than these live cams. The kelp tank is hypnotizing, the otters are fun to watch, and they have many amazing jellyfish tanks. The jellyfish seem like alien beings. Great place.

Another live Panda web-cam. Only available Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

This is in the Shamu killer whale tank. Constant motion.

Semi-live streaming web-cam images. Wild elephants.

Nice list of live animal web-cam sites. I have listed the best above. Many are semi-live, with time delays. That is boring. But you can check it out. These web cams seem to be very un-reliable. They are working about half of the time. But it is still fun to check them out.





ANIMALS

Interesting facts about animals.

Great list can be used to identify animals, plants, birds, reptiles, etc. But you can only use it after you come in from the field.

A series of amateur videos, showing the grey squirrels, flying squirrels, racoons and lots of birds.

How animals have adapted to live in the Arctic. Includes: Polar bear, caribou, musk ox, wolf, wolverine, arctic fox, ermine, lemming, arctic hare, arctic ground squirrel, birds, whales, harp seal and walrus.

"If you know how to identify animal tracks, you can tell who has visited the location. If you know about the habits of the animal, you will understand why it visited that place." Everything you need to know about tracks of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects and humans. Amazing.

North American Wildlife is a detailed look at the continent's most amazing creatures, from the vast herds of caribou that roam the Arctic tundra to the marine mammals along the New England Coast.
This is a fantastic book on nature in North America. The pictures are large and glossy, and the pages are thick. Somehow they cover every animal in North America with a large picture, and some writing. It is written smoothly, however, and isn't like a catalogue. The information provided is not too much, nor too little. Just the perfect information. It is a large book. 14 inches in length, and 12 inches in width. So the pictures are huge, as is the text. A must have for nature lovers.
This would be the kind of book you will want to read when you don't want to think too much about what you are reading. You just breeze through the pages admiring the photography and the occasional useful insight into the animal kingdom...and, believe me, there are a lot of pages. This is a big book and definitely an excellent read for anyone fascinated by nature and wildlife.

Consider the lynx, a medium-sized cat of boreal regions of North America, "a solitary animal, associated with the opposite sex only during mating." Consider the Oldfield mouse, Peromyscus polionotus, once abundant in abandoned fields and beaches from South Carolina to northern Florida. These are but two of the 390 species covered in this densely informative, well-illustrated guidebook to the mammals of North America, with photographs keyed to textual descriptions that cover a given animal's physical features, range and habitat, breeding characteristics, and behavior (and, helpfully, that list other animals with which it might be confused). This easy-to-use handbook makes a superb addition to any naturalist's library. --Gregory McNamee

Watching Wildlife offers a broad overview that will appeal especially to the armchair naturalist just venturing out. It covers such basics as descriptions of habitat regions and types of animals to find there; when to observe animals (specifying their cycles, both daily and seasonal); and tips for observing animals, arranged by broad group (e.g., birds of prey, waterfowl, bats, and more). More specific advice is offered on what to look for and listen to, how to equip yourself, and categories of public and private land to investigate (e.g., national parks, state parks, sanctuaries, even some private lands). An important chapter deals with the safety and ethics of observing wildlife. Appendixes list state, federal, and Canadian agencies as well as wildlife conservation organizations. For the reader who wants actually to track and observe mammals in the wild, The Complete Tracker provides detailed information on: habitat and range, foods, mating habits, seasonal habits, tracks, scat, signs, and vocalizations. A brief section provides basic advice on how to equip yourself, track, stalk, read sign, and, once found, observe the animals.


This is too cute!
Who doesn't love little baby animals?
These are pictures of newborn animals at zoos all around the country.
Check and see if the zoo near you has any pictures.
This is really nice.





BIRDS

An amazing compilation of information about birds. It shows there physical attributes, their habitats and ranges.


Parts of a bird. A detail illustration and article of what make up a bird's body. Interesting.

Covering 508 bird species found east of the Rocky Mountains, the revised second edition takes into account changes in taxonomy and uses improved photography. At the heart of the guide is a set of 646 well-made color photographs whose subjects are organized by easily discerned characteristics (e.g., "chicken-like marsh birds," such as the clapper rail; "gull-like birds," such as the kittiwake; and "upright-perching water birds," such as the common murre). The photographs are then keyed to textual descriptions of the birds' appearance, range and habitat, nesting characteristics, and behavior. Easy to use and handsomely produced, this belongs in every eastern birdwatcher's collection. --Gregory McNamee

Birds will come near you if you place food for them and provide simple nesting-boxes for them to build little nurseries and rear their young.

"Bird watching is the fastest growing outdoor sport in the nation, and Lake County, Florida is happy to be a part of it. As the name of this County would indicate, it is a great place to view more than 200 different species of birds. This bird-watching guide was developed, in cooperation with the Oklawaha Valley Audubon Society, to encourage local and visiting birders." Well made site.

Also, to see our links for "Bird Watching", go to our Outdoor Recreational Activities page, and then scroll down to "Bird Watching".





BUTTERFLIES

An exhaustive site filled with many aspects of butterflies and our relationship with them. Includes many articles of identification, conservation, rearing, gardening and landscaping, collecting, and art. Also has a large, worldwide list of butterfly exhibits.

Butterflies are very popular on the internet. But this is another great butterfly site, but with a different approach. Here they show you how you can enjoy the butterflies, rather than study them. Lots of fun.

The largest group of people in North America interested in butterflies. changing the way people view butterflies, teaching them how to find butterflies, how to identify them, how to create successful butterfly gardens, and how to photograph them. Your involvement with butterflies will help to bring beauty and satisfaction to your life.

Become a certified Monarch Waystation. By creating and maintaining a Monarch Waystation you are contributing to monarch conservation and are helping to assure the continuation of the monarch migration in North America.

The Michoacan Reforestation Fund and La Cruz Habitat Protection Project work to protect monarch butterfly habitat and improve the well-being of Mexican communities through reforestation. We provide high quality pine and oyamel fir trees to highland communities in the Mexican states of Michoacan and Mexico. Their goal is to support forest ecosystem and habitat restoration programs in and around the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in central Mexico. This is the endangered forest where the Monarch butterflies migrate 2000 miles to each year and spend their winter.

This site is devoted to showing as much of the life cycle of moths and butterflies. The site has great pictures of the butterfly, the caterpillar and the pupa cocoons. Really nice site.

Many ideas on how to attract and keep butterflies in your backyard.


Create your own wildlife habitat with this Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden. Buy the perennial plants here.

Shaped like a beautiful flower, the glass butterfly feeder is a great little snack stand for butterflies, as well as a stunning addition to your garden. During the day, it serves as a pretty ornament amid shrubs and flowers, and at night, it glows with a soft luminescence.
With each Illuminary Glass Butterfly Feeder purchased, The Animal Rescue Site will fund 28.0 bowls of food for animals living in sanctuaries and shelters.

Butterfly Nectar Recipe Mix 4 parts water with 1 part granulated sugar. Boil for five minutes, or until sugar is dissolved, and let cool. Saturate an absorbent material, such as a sheet of unbleached paper towel, with the nectar solution. Extra nectar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to one week. Alternately, overly ripe fruit such as bananas, oranges, and watermelon can be sliced into small pieces and be left out in the feeder. Place feeder near bright flowers or natural nectar sources.

At The Bird Shed, we look forward to sharing our yard with wildlife throughout the seasons including butterflies, who bring color and life to our homes. Just put up a few houses, fill your feeders and soon you'll have a yard full of fluttering friends. From the Home page, click on "Butterflies". They have an amazing long list of decorative houses, feeders, flower seed packs, books.

Butterflies are among the natural world's most colorful and intriguing creatures, so what could be more useful than a handy field guide with more than 1,000 photographs of all the butterflies of North America north of Mexico, including all true butterflies, the most common skippers, and many migrants and strays. The color plates are visually arranged by shape and color, and thumb-tab silhouettes provide a convenient index to identification of butterflies in the field. The species account for each butterfly provides measurements, descriptions of each stage of the life cycle, and information on coloring or distinguishing markings, flight period, habitat, and range.

Discovery Butterfly Canopy, $24.95 EXCLUSIVE!
Witness one of nature's most spectacular transformations up close with this reusable, collapsible habitat.
-Fine, transparent mesh lets you see butterfly metamorphosis up close
-Includes easy-to-use feeder and complete instructions for habitat
-Use the mail-in voucher to receive five butterfly larvae and special food
-Habitat collapses for storage when not in use, dimensions open 10" L x 10" W x 13" H
-2-month manufacturer's warranty
-Adopt and raise a handful of caterpillars, watch them transform into painted lady butterflies, then lift the garden cover to release your beautiful specimens into the wild. This exciting habitat makes a fabulous introduction to the miracles of nature.

Another source for butterfly eggs. Includes everything you need to raise Painted Lady butterflies from larvae to adults. Watch the larvae gobble up the butterfly diet and rapidly grow to many times their original size! Watch 'em crawl to the top of the rearing cups, hang upside down like a "J" then form their pupae. Then in about 1 to 1 ˝ weeks watch 'em emerge as adult butterflies.

Have fun raising those beautiful insects. You can buy the kits above, with everything you need, but if you are more adventurous and energetic, you can do it yourself. The article tells you where to look for butterfly eggs, how to raise the caterpillars and what to keep them in. An old jar still works. Lots of fun in the summertime.

A great site that offers inspirational quotations, e-mailed to you each day. They will lift you up and get you moving. We enjoy this one daily, also.





OTHER BUGS AND INSECTS

An amazingly detailed listing of bugs. Everything you could ever need to know about creepy crawlers, and then some more.



An amazing compilation of information about insects. It shows there physical attributes, their habitats and ranges.

Ideas on how to attract the garden's best friend. Ladybugs.

Spiders, bugs, moths, butterflies, beetles, bees, flies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, and many other insects are detailed in more than 700 full-color photographs visually arranged by shape and color. Descriptive text includes measurements, diagnostic details, and information on habitat, range, feeding habits, sounds or songs, flight period, web construction, life cycle, behaviors, folklore, and environmental impact. An illustrated key to the insect orders and detailed drawings of the parts of insects, spiders, and butterflies supplement this extensive coverage.

"Maybe I first noticed Dragonflies one of those summers I attended Girl Scout camp and I saw a pretty blue-winged insect shimmering over the lake where we went for our daily swim. Or maybe I saw my first fly when I sat on a creek bank waiting for the catfish to bite. I saw them so often when I was a child growing up in the rural South and Midwest, that I took them for granted. Not until the great Henry Mitchell, a local gardener and columnist with the Washington Post (and author of many books on gardening) wrote about his horse troughs and Dragonfiles did I sit up and say, "You mean there's more than one kind??"
Mr. Mitchell taught me that Dragonfiles can drown in deep water if they try to take a drink, and that Dragonflies, Damselflies and Butterflies all need shallow water. That's why you see them hovering over mud puddles and why every bird bath needs a shallow spot. In Mr. Mitchell's garden, the Dragonflies drank from the leaves on his water lillies. If you plant water lillies, you will see a Dragonfly or two or three.
The BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO DRAGONFLIES is destined to help me help my granddaughters develop an appreciation of Dragonfiles and Damselflies. According to authors Nikula, Sones, and Stokes, the major differences between the two are wing shapes, wing positions, eye positions, overall appearance and flight style. Some of the photos even depict Dragonflies that might be confused with Butterflies. We are going to learn about: 'Cruisers', 'Spiketails', 'Clubtails', 'Petaltails' and a whole lot more. Seems that pretty neon blue insect I've seen hovering over the pond may be a 'Pond Damsel.'
Each of the illustrated "Identification" pages in DRAGONFLIES contains a photograph and text description of the fly and a map of Northern America depicting the range of the insect in question. Each map shows the entire country plus Canada. The pages of the book are color coded by family type so you can link the Dragonfly or Damselfly to it's family. Get this book and enjoy the summer fun."



All about spider webs, with lots of pictures.

This site provides images of some common insects, but also includes information on the foods which they eat as well as the habitats where they can be found.

Remember those Ant Farms we had when we were kids. Well, they still have them, but now we have choices. There is the old original Ant Farm, a NASA Space Age Ant Farm, a Village, and a Connectable. Watch as these hard working critters burrow underground to create an amazing network of subterranean tunnels. We love this stuff.
And they also have kits to grow butterflies, Ladybugs, Dragonflies, Frogs, and of course Sea Monkeys.





REPTILES


An amazing compilation of information about reptiles. It shows there physical attributes, their habitats and ranges.


Snakes are fascinating part of nature. Their color, movement and secretive habits make them seem more mysterious than other animals. For people who are especially interested in wildlife, snakes are a wonderful introduction to the world of nature. For one thing they are everywhere: you do not have to go into a zoo or sanctuary to see a snake.

Alligators are remnants of a prehistoric era. When dinosaurs became extinct, these modern day contemporaries of dinosaurs continued to flourish and have survived their prehistoric relatives into the 20th century. This site tells all.

Why are some frogs able to freeze solid and still survive? How can secretions from amphibians offer scientists clues for treating human ailments? What allows reptiles and amphibians to regenerate their limbs? Reptiles & Amphibians, an exciting new Explore Your World™ handbook, incorporates the Discovery Channel's unique authoritative approach and acclaimed visuals to answer these and other questions in a captivating blend of information and entertainment.
Features: Background information on evolution, anatomy, physiology, habitats, and life cycles of a range of reptile and amphibian families, A detailed look at how reptiles and amphibians survive-how they eat, move around, defend themselves, and combat temperature extremes, Examinations of metamorphosis, growth and longevity, and vocalization techniques, Practical advice on how to responsibly study reptiles and amphibians in the wild or care for them as pets, An identification guide to more than 160 of the most fascinating herpetological species from around the world, organized by environment, More than 300 full-color photos and illustrations.





WILD FLOWERS

An amazing compilation of information about flowers, including wild flowers and house plants (I guess they are wild somewhere). It shows there physical attributes, their habitats and ranges.

A very complete list of desert flora. Include detailed information, including pictures, description, range and habitat. Very nicely done.

The plants shown on this site are but a few representative specimens from the Appalachians. Most of these are widely-distributed east of the Mississippi River. Nice pictures for identification and a little habitat info.

They post when and where the desert wild flowers are in bloom. This covers all of the Southwest USA.

These people are serious about their wild flowers. Wild flower forums, dealers, gardens and collections, societies and a calendar of wild flower events. Wild flower events?

This compact guidebook, produced to the National Audubon Society's high standards of quality, gives full descriptions of more than 650 species found east of the Rocky Mountains, along with notes on several hundred more. The eminently sensible organization relies on first-impression visible characteristics rather than the elaborate keys of some older texts--a format well suited to beginning wildflower enthusiasts. If, for instance, you wanted to identify a long-stemmed, tubular red flower that you found in a grove of loblolly pines, you would first turn to the color plates, find the section devoted to red flowers, find a likely match from the 30-odd choices, and then turn to the text to see that the flower's habitat and range made a good fit, ruling out those species that do not. After a few minutes' looking, you'll have identified a trumpet honeysuckle. Well written and richly illustrated, this peerless guide makes the ideal companion for an expedition to eastern wood or prairie. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to the Paperback edition.





GENERAL WILDLIFE AND NATURE INFORMATION

An immense site with topics on many different animals. From under-water to the mountains, insects, snakes, birds, etc, etc.




What to do if you find an injured animal or a baby animal. It may not be what everyone has told you.

Journey North engages us in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. They track the coming of spring through the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, bald eagles, robins, hummingbirds, whooping cranes — and other birds and mammals; the budding of plants; changing sunlight; and other natural events.

I am always surprised how many people don't know the right answer.

"Regardless of its elevation in the sky, the moon's angular size at the eye remains the same. Yet the horizon moon may appear to be nearly twice the diameter of the elevated moon." Do you think you know the reason? This is a very, and I mean very detailed and scientific answer from The National Academy of Sciences. With diagrams and experiments included.

Direct from NASA, each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.





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