CLOSE

POV Video Shows What It's Like to Ride a Falcon

Thanks to a cleverly placed GoPro, we know what it's like to ride a cheetah, but what about a falcon? The birds of prey are obviously way too small to actually ride, but that doesn't mean we can't get a pretty good idea what the experience would be like. Professional falconer Vahé Alaverdian acquired some exciting POV footage with the help of a trained peregrine falcon named Genghis, who soars high and does some deep dives over farmland, all for our viewing pleasure.

To get the video, Alaverdian fitted the bird with a camera backpack, weighing about six percent of what Genghis does. A tennis ball lure was used to keep the bird's attention and manipulate where it went. With some skillful maneuvering, Alaverdian and his team were able to get plenty of footage, giving all of us a good idea of what it's like to ride a falcon (or simply fly, depending on your aviation dreams). While some of the video is shaky because of Genghis's flapping, there are also plenty of smooth soaring portions as well.

This isn't the first time someone thought to strap a camera onto a bird. Last year, a trained eagle soared around London with a camera, getting a good view of the English city in beautiful 4K resolution.

Primary image courtesy of National Geographic Video

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Courtesy of The National Aviary
arrow
Animals
Watch This Live Stream to See Two Rare Penguin Chicks Hatch From Their Eggs
Courtesy of The National Aviary
Courtesy of The National Aviary

Bringing an African penguin chick into the world is an involved process, with both penguin parents taking turns incubating the egg. Now, over a month since they were laid, two penguin eggs at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are ready to hatch. As Gizmodo reports, the baby birds will make their grand debut live for the world to see on the zoo's website.

The live stream follows couple Sidney and Bette in their nest, waiting for their young to emerge. The first egg was laid November 7 and is expected to hatch between December 14 and 18. The second, laid November 11, should hatch between December 18 and 22.

"We are thrilled to give the public this inside view of the arrival of these rare chicks," National Aviary executive director Cheryl Tracy said in a statement. "This is an important opportunity to raise awareness of a critically endangered species that is in rapid decline in the wild, and to learn about the work that the National Aviary is doing to care for and propagate African penguins."

African penguins are endangered, with less than 25,000 pairs left in the wild today. The National Aviary, the only independent indoor nonprofit aviary in the U.S., works to conserve threatened populations and raise awareness of them with bird breeding programs and educational campaigns.

After Sidney and Bette's new chicks are born, they will care for them in the nest for their first three weeks of life. The two penguins are parenting pros at this point: The monogamous couple has already hatched and raised three sets of chicks together.

[h/t Gizmodo]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
holidays
Bleat Along to Classic Holiday Tunes With This Goat Christmas Album
iStock
iStock

Feeling a little Grinchy this month? The Sweden branch of ActionAid, an international charity dedicated to fighting global poverty, wants to goat—errr ... goad—you into the Christmas spirit with their animal-focused holiday album: All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.

Fittingly, it features the shriek-filled vocal stylings of a group of festive farm animals bleating out classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” The recording may sound like a silly novelty release, but there's a serious cause behind it: It’s intended to remind listeners how the animals benefit impoverished communities. Goats can live in arid nations that are too dry for farming, and they provide their owners with milk and wool. In fact, the only thing they can't seem to do is, well, sing. 

You can purchase All I Want for Christmas is a Goat on iTunes and Spotify, or listen to a few songs from its eight-track selection below.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios