Slow Motion Raptor Strikes - Smarter Every Day 38

Uploaded by destinws2 on 05.01.2012

Raptor training? That sounds interesting.

Hey it's me Destin. I'm at Auburn University today at the South eastern Raptor
Centre with Andrew, and Andrew's a pretty unique guy. What do you do, Andrew?
-I get to work with birds every day. Every single day.
So today we have a red tailed hawk, and, what's his name? -Petey Alright,
Petey is going to hit a target and we're gonna capture it in high speed video and we're gonna show you how
a bird can control his whole wing. It's kind of like, you know an airplane
controls just a control surface, one particular area of the wing. Birds can
control the whole wing, individually. So each individual feather is moving.
So we're gonna try to capture that on high speed. Do you think he'll hit the target? -Oh yeah. Every time.

Alright, so we're gonna see if we can get the maneuver right when, this is Nadira?
-Yeah Right when Nadira tries to stop. Now the interesting thing about these birds
is, they're like this huge optical processor and so, the
vision gives so much stimulation that they have to shield them so that they can't see. Am I saying everything
correct? Andrew, Sean, everything correct here? Alright, so what we're gonna do is we have a
wide angle lens setup with this high speed camera. This is a Phantom V10
What we're gonna do is, the bird's gonna fly in here and get this piece of meat
and if you look at the lens it's got a big, a big bulbous on the outside there. That's a
special type of lens so we can get this exact point of impact, so
let's see what happens. -Nadira. hup!

OK so the bird has to wear a leather hood over her eyes
because she's so stimulated visually that she gets irritated if she doesn't. It's
like this. You and I are probably trichromats, which means we have cones in our eyes
to detect red, green and blue light. Now when we look at this rainbow
cat that my daughter made for me all the rest of the colours are a combination of these types of light.
Birds are not that way. Birds are tetrachromats, or
even pintachromats, which means they have over two-thirds the amount of colour information
that they have to process that we don't. This makes sense because birds are most often
the most colourful species on the planet. If you think about it, there might be a UV
component of light that they're seeing that we're not. So this cardinal might not be red
but might be red, and a little, more UV or
less UV. There's something else that birds have to deal with and it's called a high flicker fusion rate.
You and I can detect a flickering light up to about 18 hertz and beyond
that it looks like a smooth image. And that's why 25 or 30 frames per second on
video works well for us. But for birds they have a much higher flicker fusion rate.
In fact, if you throw in a UV component of light, their higher
flicker fusion rate is about 100 hertz, which is pretty amazing.
So if you think about it, you and I are calibrated so that we can go through
a world walking and running. Well, birds are flying, that's why they need
the higher flicker fusion rate, because if they're going through the woods they have to be able to see a branch coming
and make an adjustment on the fly. That makes watching this video much more enjoyable
because it's high speed footage which means it's simulating a flicker fusion
rate much higher than you or I are used to. It's like we're seeing the world through the eyes of the
bird. So if you look here as this bird tries to grab this target and she misses,
she sees with her high flicker fusion rate and tries to make an aerodynamic
correction, on the fly, to try to grab the target. And I think that is
very cool. -Nadira. hup.


It feels great to know that we're making people Smarter Every Day.

Alright, so a big
thank you to Andrew. Andrew spent a lot of time helping me coordinate this, so
-It was a lot of fun. Thank you Destin Thank you very much, and we hope to see you again
do this again. -Yeah, raptor centre hopes to see you guys again. Appreciate it man.
I'm ready. - Welcome to the South eastern Raptor Centre.
[bird sounds]

-Ten pounds, twelve pounds of air they have to push, so when they flap their
wings, it's, well it's cooling.
-So this is what they kill with.
-That is what they kill with So the hallux is what does the piercing.
-Well all their feet does, but that's the biggest, the biggest and the longest.

[ Captions by Andrew Jackson ]