Red kites in slow motion

Okay, this is simply the most gorgeous slow motion photography I have ever seen of a bird of prey. Do, do select at least 720HD if you can, and watch it full screen.

The Slow Mo Guys went to a parking lot (you can tell they’re Brits because they call it a “car park”) which is known as a spot where red kites scavenge bits of raw bacon. Red kites are something of a celebrity bird in Britain, where their numbers dwindled down to just a few pairs before beginning a slow recovery. They also happen to be beautiful (though I may be biased on this). I’ve seen them high up in the sky here in Portugal, but even through binoculars I’ve never seen them like this.

As you watch the video, notice the ruffling of the feathers on the bird’s backs as they swoop in to make a food grab. And check out their eyes — you can actually see them looking down at the target, then shifting their focus up and away the moment their feet make contact.

Magnificent.

(Via the Guardian, which has a nice bit of info on the wing tags, as well as what red kites eat when they’re not snagging bacon bits.)

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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5 Responses to Red kites in slow motion

  1. peg priest says:

    A red kite comes down to the garden every day for dead baby chicks (we buy them frozen ) and for chicken carcus what a beatiful sight it is but you have to be quick to see it as it is so fast . i wonder if they eat in flight .

    • oregon expat says:

      If they’re only picking up a bite-size bit of food, sure. But if they’re carting off a dead chick, then they’re probably heading to a good safe place to perch, holding the prey down with one foot while tearing off bites.

      Your “birdfeeder” certainly is different from what most of us are used to!

  2. Fátima Santos says:

    Hello, there, it’s the first time I came to read your blog. Tell me what place was the film made? Thank you for spreding the word about Portugal, it’s very nice of you!

  3. Fátima Santos says:

    Your reply was fast!:) thank you. Well, I’m portuguese, and in fact I like reading what foreign people have to say about the country…I reckon in you an ” eye clinic” more than myself…I see the same things, but do not with the same avaluation as yours. And it’s curiosed to me!

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