In Case You Missed It: Flight of the falcon reveals unfair hunting advantage


Whoa.

Peregrine falcons are awesome, hard-core hunters.

Some amazing video was released recently showing falcons hunting crows. And it is intense.

Cameras were mounted on the heads of these incredible birds, giving us a true bird’s eye view of the action. The birds also were fitted with backpacks to record footage of the pursuits.

It’s like a chase scene from a Jason Bourne movie: High-adrenaline, action-packed, uber-dramatic.

By using the video, scientists were able to learn that falcons “pursue prey by keeping the image of the prey in the same place on their retina during the pursuit as they close in.”

This makes the target seem stationary and allows the falcons to attack more precisely while maintaining the element of surprise. All at a high-rate of speed. Falcons attack at speeds over 200 mph when swooping down from great heights.

“Every time the prey maneuvers, the predator has to readjust its position,” Suzanne Amador Kane, the study’s lead author, told NBC News. “We saw falcons do a series of fixes to keep the prey at the same angle in the camera’s field of view.”

It’s like the bird’s have built-in high-tech tracking software. A slightly unfair advantage in the circle of life.

Have you seen a video you’d like to share? Contact Graydon Johns at gjohns@reviewjournal.com. Find him on Twitter: @gjohns.

 

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