Video: Camera accompanies eagle soaring over France

By Amy Hubbard September 19, 2013, 10:21

Stunning footage that appears to be taken from the back of a soaring eagle has gone viral online.

The video was posted Monday by YouTube user Srachi. The posting lists the location of the flight simply as the Mer de Glace area of Chamonix, France. Mer de Glace, or Sea of Ice, is one of the longest glaciers in the Alps, extending for 3½ miles. Deep greenery, blue sky and snow-touched mountains fall away, bumpily, beneath the bird as it flies.

Efforts by the L.A. Times to reach the video’s creator were unsuccessful as of the time of this posting. But the video had created a sensation by Thursday, with nearly 1.7 million views.

And it is hard to look away.

Check out the video at top. How was it done? Some news outlets say it was taken from the back of the eagle with a GoPro, a small camera used for remote photography and video.

Scientists design animal backpacks of all sorts for their feathered test subjects, and for many different purposes. Many are GPS-based, so that researchers can track the long-distance trips of migrating birds. Others seek to use the birds as their eyes and ears in the environment. One team at Cornell University is building a removable backpack that draws energy from the bird’s movements to power a host of sensors.

Bird lovers can find beautiful close-up and slow-motion video in PBS’ “Earthflight” series, now airing. The series recently focused on birds in Europe. Next up is the sixth in the series, “Flying High,” which airs Oct. 9. According to PBS, microlight aircraft, paragliders, drones and camera-carrying birds were among techniques used. Below is a bird’s-eye view from a golden eagle in Scotland.


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