State-of-the-art bird-mounted cameras have unlocked secrets of how falcons hunt their prey. (Courtesy: EDDY DE MOL AND FRANÇOIS LORRAIN/Handout/CBS/RTV)
State-of-the-art bird-mounted cameras have unlocked secrets of how falcons hunt their prey.
Footage filmed from cameras on the birds' backs and heads has just emerged after being used in a scientific study into the physics of falcons' flight while hunting.
The footage shows Perigrine and Gyrfalcon/Saker falcon hybrids flying at high speeds towards crows as they try to grab them out of the air.
The videos revealed to scientists that the birds use a kind of 'motion camouflaging' as they zigzag their flight paths when pursuing prey.
The birds also use their wide field of vision to keep their eyes firmly fixed on their prey while it moves in the air.
These discoveries were made by Dr Suzanne Amador Kane, from Haverford College, USA. She wanted to study the physics of bird flight so she reached out on social media for someone who could mount a small camera to a bird of prey.
She got the idea after seeing a documentary about birds of prey in which such cameras were used.
Belgian, Eddy De Mol, provided her with the footage of falcons hunting in 2011 over farmland in Wallonia, in Southern Belgium.
Dr. Kane then analyzed the footage frame by frame to study the flight paths of both hunters and prey.
Academic journal, the Journal of Experimental Biology, published Dr Kane's findings on January 15 after months analyzing the research material.