If this video is real, it’s one of the most amazing bird films I’ve seen. It was posted three days ago, apparently from France, and already has nearly 2.4 million views.
It seems to show footage from a camera mounted on the back of an eagle, and really gives you the sense of what it’s like to soar above the ground:
However, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the source and authenticity of the video hasn’t yet been verified:
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.
. . .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.
And, if you have 53 minutes to spare (believe me, it won’t be wasted), watch this show recommended by the Times: an episode of BBC’s Earthflight that used ”microlight aircraft, paragliders, drones and camera-carrying birds” to capture remarkable footage of more than 100 species of airborne birds from 40 countries. The show, which took four years to film, will be released in six episodes. The link above gives the full episode filmed in Europe.