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Head cam shows how falcons track prey

Falconers from around the world mounted tiny cameras on their birds. The footage revealed that the falcons track and attack their prey by maneuvering to keep the target stationary in their visual field.

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Footage from miniature video cameras strapped to falcons' backs or heads shows that the animals use a form of motion camouflage to attack and capture flying prey.

The falcon headgear shows how the animal adjusts its flight to create motion camouflage. With this strategy, the prey remains in a fixed spot in the falcon's field of view, and the falcon remains stationary from the perspective of its prey until the final seconds before being attacked, scientists report January 15 in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Having a better idea of how falcons and other predatory birds follow objects that move quickly and unpredictably could help improve the design of robots and unmanned aircraft, the researchers say.

A BIRD'S VIEW  A camera on the back of a falcon shows how the animal captures flying crows. 

Credit: Eddy De Mol

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