Pets, Animals - Birds
5am - 9pm ET (until we add an infrared light source and then 24/7)
Learn More & Get Involved
· Join Audubon
· Subscribe to Audubon Wingspan
· Learn about our Audubon Camp
· Project Puffin Visitor Center
· Puffin Watching Tour
Known for its graceful flight and elegant plumage, the Common Tern has become a symbol of the conservation movement. It was widely sought for the 19th century millinery trade of feathering ladies hats. Hunting of terns peaked in the 1870s and 1880s, wiping out nearly all of the population on the Atlantic coast. This along with the slaughter of birds such as herons was the impetus for the formation of Audubon societies and other conservation efforts. Today numbers have rebounded and are doing well along the coast. The Common Tern is recognizable by the dark tip on its orange-red bill, as well as its black cap and orange red legs. The American population winters in South and Central America, coming to land each spring to breed in colonies on northern coastal islands, like a href="http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=53534#_blank" target="_blank" style="font-weight:bold;" >Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in Maine. Seal Island is Maine’s largest Common Tern colony with more than 1,500 nesting pairs.
The Seal Island Audubon Live cams are located 20 miles off of Rockland, Maine. Transporting the video image from the island to the Internet is a complex process that involves beaming the signal 26 miles from Seal Island to a radio tower above Rockland. The signal is then relayed an additional 2.5 miles to the top of the Tradewinds Motor Inn in Rockland, where a rooftop dish transfers the video signal to a cable that runs into Project Puffin Visitor Center, from there it is relayed to the Internet. The video stream is occasionally affected by factors such as changes in tide, reflection off the sea surface and dense fog. During these times the images may be lost. If this happens, stay tuned and the signal will be restored quickly. To learn more about Maine seabirds and how you can help them, visit projectpuffin.org.