These 16 Live Webcam Feeds Bring California’s Most Awesome Birds to Your Screen 

An osprey in flight with fish in its claws

Massive, majestic birds of prey including eagles, falcons, condors and hawks are among the most remarkable creatures in California. Watching them fly, hunt and nest in the wild would be an unforgettable experience, but one that’s elusive and rarely convenient for the average nature lover. Fortunately, webcams set up to focus on raptor nests all over California allow the general public to observe awesome birdlife up close, live, and often 24 hours a day. 

Pull up a live wildlife webcam feed on your phone or tablet, on your computer in place of a screensaver, or as a TV background when you’re just hanging out at home. You’ll get an intimate glimpse into the lives of California’s most remarkable bird species, witness the wonder of nest-building and egg-nurturing, and even the hatching of brand new chicks. Some of California’s film-star birds represent a miraculous recovery from near-extinction. Nest cams capture the harsh reality of nature, too, a reminder that real life doesn’t guarantee a happy ending for any animal. 

The next time you’re staring at an empty browser bar, hoping to be inspired by something wondrous on the internet, pull up one of these live webcam feeds starring California’s most amazing birds.

Two bald eagles on a nest covered with snow, captured on the Big Bear bald eagle cam in California
A bald eagle pair captured on the Friends of Big Bear Valley eagle nest cam (Courtesy of Friends of Big Bear Valley, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0, Source:

Big Bear’s Bald Eagle Nest Cam

Jackie and Shadow, a pair of bald eagles, have been nesting together high in a Jeffrey Pine tree in front of the Big Bear Bald Eagle Nest cam since 2018. The popular, 24/7 live feed provided by the Friends of Big Bear Valley has made the eagles local celebrities. A Facebook group dedicated to the feed has over 117,000 members. When heavy winter storms in the San Bernardino Mountains threatened their eggs, local news programs covered the drama. Local third graders vote on names for eaglets. 

The low success rate for Jackie and Shadow’s eggs – only two have hatched out of 14 produced together – reminds watchers of the often-tragic reality of life in the wild. Viewers have witnessed scuffles with other birds, ravens eating the eagles’ eggs, and lots of nest maintenance including shared tasks of tidying up and weaving in new sticks. 

Peregrine Falcon Nest Cam on Alcatraz

The Peregrine Falcon Nest live stream from Alcatraz Island made its online debut on May 2, 2024. A tagged female falcon named Larry, along with her unnamed mate, made a nest on the west side of the famous island in San Francisco Bay and hatched four chicks in the spring of 2023. This was the first recording of a peregrine falcon nest on Alcatraz, spurring the installation of a webcam by biologists working with the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. The nest is in a remote part of the island away from the busy tourist area, but the camera offers an up-close view of the falcons, some of the fastest animals on Earth. 

A live cam capture of a peregrine falcon by her nest on Alcatraz Island
Peregrine falcon parent and chick in their nest on Alcatraz Island (Photo courtesy of NPS)

California Condor Cams in Big Sur

The Ventana Wildlife Society, a leader in California condor conservation, operates four live cams streaming from protected habitats along the California Coast: the Big Sur Sanctuary, Big Sur Condor Roost, San Simeon Sanctuary and Redwood Condor Nest. Viewers of the redwood nest cam witnessed a new chick hatching on May 5, 2024, along with subsequent feedings by the condor parents. The cameras run 24/7 and viewers can interact by looking up tag numbers and learning about the individual condors they see on camera. 

The condors captured on these wildlife cams represent the survival of an endangered species that came very close to extinction. The nonprofit Ventana Wildlife Society has been releasing captive-bred condors in the Big Sur area since 1997. Their scientists use the live-streaming webcams to monitor the condors and their nests. According to the latest recovery figures, the wild population in central California is around 100 – with only 344 wild California condors in total, plus 217 in captivity. Camera-watchers might also spot other wildlife including golden and bald eagles, ravens, mountain lions, bobcats and black-tailed deer.

Related: These Six Species Were Saved From Extinction in California

Mare Island Osprey Cam

Friends of the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge has a live stream Osprey-Cam on Mare Island. The location is part of a 19,000-acre wetland refuge on the northern edge of San Pablo Bay, a vital habitat for migratory birds. Ospreys only began nesting on the island in the 2000s, and now mating pairs of these huge raptors revisit the same nest sites year after year. With a 6-foot wingspan and 2-foot-long bodies, ospreys are remarkable birds that hunt fish in the bay and return to their nest areas to eat. The prime season for egg laying and hatching is from late February through July. 

The UC Berkeley Campanile landmark tower seen through trees
The UC Berkeley Campanile, site of a peregrine falcon nest featured on a live-stream webcam (Photo by Janet Ganbold on Unsplash)

Cal Falcon Cams at UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley’s Cal Falcons team of scientists monitor birds that nest on the top of the campus’s historic Campanile. The team also runs three live-streaming webcams that reveal the peregrine falcons’ day-to-day lives to the general public. Peregrine falcons were first observed atop the landmark in late 2016 and have returned to a provided nest box ever since. Two baby falcons fledged that first year, and the following year three chicks hatched including Lawrencium, aka Larry, who now stars in her own webcam on Alcatraz Island! Scientists report that the ringing of the Campanile’s bells doesn’t seem to bother the birds. 

San Francisco Bay Osprey Cam

The San Francisco Bay Osprey camera is a service provided by the Golden Gate Bird Alliance. The San Francisco Bay has seen promising growth in its osprey population in recent years, with over 50 pairs and some 88 young fledglings recorded in 2022. Their nests of these huge, sea-hunting hawks can be 3 to 6 feet wide. Pull up the live feed to see them in real time. 

Eagle and Falcon Cams at Channel Islands National Park

There are two bald eagle live cams at nest locations on Santa Cruz Island, the largest island in Channel Islands National Park. The birds you see on screen represent a major conservation success story. Birdlife in coastal California was decimated by decades of habitat loss, DDT poisoning and other factors. The first bald eagle chick to hatch on the islands without human assistance in 50 years took place in the spring of 2006. Watch the bald eagle pairs thrive on these live cams and celebrate the population’s recovery. 

A pair of bald eagles sitting on their nest in Channel Islands National Park
Bald eagles on their nest in Channel Islands National Park (Photo courtesy of NPS)

On nearby Anacapa Island, also in Channel Islands National Park, take a look at the peregrine falcon webcam. Similar to the fate of bald eagles, peregrine falcons had almost disappeared from the islands by the 1970s. The species was reintroduced in the 1980s and now there are active peregrine falcons on all eight Channel Islands, according to the National Park Service. If you see the falcons feasting on camera, there’s a good chance they’re eating other birds. Peregrine falcons have a varied diet but primarily feed on other birds, diving into high-speed, mid-air strikes. Pairs mate for life and tend to hang around their breeding sites all year-round to keep any competitors away. 

Catalina Island’s Bald Eagle Cams

Over on Catalina Island, bald eagles were reintroduced by conservationists in the early 1980s. Some of the island’s six breeding pairs can be observed 24/7 on your screen of choice, thanks to the Two Harbors Bald Eagle Cam and West End Bald Eagle Cam. These live streams are available thanks to a partnership between the Institute for Wildlife Studies and, a leading, philanthropic live nature cam network best known for organizing the annual “Fat Bear Week” competition. 

You might also like to read our “Guide to the Scariest Spiders in California

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