[Brief] Explore.org has set up live-streaming webcams of seal pupping grounds on Seal Island, a national wildlife refuge located 18 nm off the coast of Rockland, Maine. When weather allows, viewers can see gray seal pups with their parents, along with a variety of the seabirds and raptors that call the island home. The island is a rookery for arctic and common terns, common eiders, double-crested and great cormorants, Leach’s storm-petrels, black guillemots, razorbills, and Atlantic puffins, and American eagles are known to visit from time to time.
The refuge is the second largest gray seal pupping location in the U.S., and the webcams are helping biologists learn more about the population, according to Marine Science Today. The cameras will be up and running through February, at which time most of the pups will have headed out to sea.
Gray seals often return to the same beach year after year, and Seal Island fits their preference for barren, rocky locations. The outcropping is also well-suited to serve as a refuge because it is permanently closed to the public for safety reasons: it still has unexploded ordnance left over from its time as a Navy gunnery range.