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The Bird's Eye View

Posted by Sarah Laskow  October 12, 2012 03:05 PM

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John Downer makes nature documentaries, and in his latest, Winged Planet, he strapped stripped-down versions of the “highest-quality but smallest HD cameras available” onto fish eagles and vultures. Here’s what you would see if you were clinging onto the back of one of these soaring birds:

Winged Planet Photo 1a.JPG

Winged Planet Photo 1.JPG

This same idea has other uses besides collecting wild, bird’s eye views from the sky, though. Biologists at the University of British Columbia were able to fit out two closely related subspecies of thrushes with tiny geolocation devices in order to track their migration routes south for the winter. They were able to map directly for the first time the birds’ divergent migration routes: although both end up in Central America, one subspecies of these very similar birds runs down the California coast, and the other flies on the other side of the Rockies, across the Midwest.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that, like the seagull that stole Nathalie Rollandin’s camera, a bird will take it upon itself to share its perspective on the world.

[Photos via the Discovery Channel]

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
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