Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

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Broomstick
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Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

Postby Broomstick » 2011-10-29 11:06am

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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Re: Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

Postby LadyTevar » 2011-10-29 11:34am

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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Re: Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

Postby Broomstick » 2011-10-29 12:14pm

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:

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.

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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Re: Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

Postby tim31 » 2011-10-29 07:30pm

Good link Broomie, crossposting to facebook.
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Re: Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

Postby Meest » 2011-10-29 11:02pm

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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Re: Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

Postby Broomstick » 2011-10-29 11:14pm

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.
Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid. - Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice


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Re: Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

Postby The Vortex Empire » 2011-10-29 11:14pm

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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Re: Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

Postby Thanas » 2011-10-30 10:40am

Great find, Broomstick.
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Re: Awesome Video - Flying with a Hawk

Postby Stofsk » 2011-10-30 12:47pm

Agreed. Really nice. I wish I could do this actually.
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