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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2011-10-29 11:06am 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21640
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
My spouse found this yesterday, and it's a really cool video.



The aviation geek in me gets all thrilled about watching the hawk's variable wing geometry and things like the alula in action. But you don't have to know anything about that to appreciate the coolness here. It's well worth watching in full screen high def, too.
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LadyTevar
PostPosted: 2011-10-29 11:34am 

White Mage


Joined: 2003-02-12 11:59pm
Posts: 17722
Location: Tahalshia Manor
Wow. Just.... wow. So beautiful, and I wished I could be soaring with them.


I had to watch it a second time to see what you meant by the alula, and it was so clear I wonder now why I've never noticed it before in nature dramas showing raptors landing. That section of wing seems to move several centimeters off the main wing during landing, which is far more movement than I'd have expected.

The link stated that several ancient fossils show the alula, which means the function has been around for much of avian evolution. I'd think the question now would be why did some species lose it.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2011-10-29 12:14pm 

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Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21640
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
LadyTevar wrote:
Wow. Just.... wow. So beautiful, and I wished I could be soaring with them.

Well... you need to know a falconer.... the parasail rig costs around $6,000.... you'll need an instructor to go with you at least at first.... it's possible, but I'm thinking there's a bit of time and money involved. :lol:

Quote:
I had to watch it a second time to see what you meant by the alula, and it was so clear I wonder now why I've never noticed it before in nature dramas showing raptors landing. That section of wing seems to move several centimeters off the main wing during landing, which is far more movement than I'd have expected.

I'm sure you HAVE seen it before... you just didn't notice it before because you didn't know to look. It's subtle compared to the overall wing motion, and birds do move fast.

Quote:
The link stated that several ancient fossils show the alula, which means the function has been around for much of avian evolution. I'd think the question now would be why did some species lose it.

It's not essential for flight, just really useful. Birds like hawks absolutely require them due to their need for maneuverability and precision, but I could imagine scenarios were birds don't need to be highly refined flyers where loss of the alula doesn't impact survival for the species. Penguins, for example, certainly don't have them, but then, they only "fly" in water. Emus and kiwis don't fly at all, so don't need them. Some birds aren't particularly proficient flyers, relying more on running and climbing, so lacking an alula wouldn't be such a big deal for them.
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tim31
PostPosted: 2011-10-29 07:30pm 

Sith Devotee


Joined: 2006-10-18 03:32am
Posts: 3383
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Good link Broomie, crossposting to facebook.
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Meest
PostPosted: 2011-10-29 11:02pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2003-11-18 04:04am
Posts: 1391
Location: Toronto
Just got scared thinking how do the birds recognize all those strings, though they seem aware and don't fly over their heads and keep to the sides.
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Broomstick
PostPosted: 2011-10-29 11:14pm 

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Joined: 2004-01-02 08:04pm
Posts: 21640
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Birds see a HELL of a lot better than we do, and hawks even better than a lot of other birds. What looks nearly invisible to us is probably as obvious to him or her as a telephone pole at 20 paces is to us.

Really, the capacity of birds to see, interpret visual information, and make judgements regarding relative speeds and such is FAR superior to human capabilities in those areas. Although a little foot-scrabbling in the video shows that even hawks aren't perfect at it. Still, their innate aviation abilities blow ours completely away.
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The Vortex Empire
PostPosted: 2011-10-29 11:14pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2006-12-11 10:44pm
Posts: 1398
Location: Rhode Island
Well, they are hawks. They have fantastic eyesight, I'm sure they can see the strings just fine. Certainly better than you can.
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Thanas
PostPosted: 2011-10-30 10:40am 

Magister


Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm
Posts: 25811
Great find, Broomstick.
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Stofsk
PostPosted: 2011-10-30 12:47pm 

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Joined: 2003-11-10 01:36am
Posts: 12924
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Agreed. Really nice. I wish I could do this actually.
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