Incredible slo-mo video of raptors flying through bubble clouds... for science

How does an owl's tail help it fly? To better see the role of the tail in raptor aerodynamics, researchers at the UK's Royal Veterinary College recorded birds of prey flying through clouds of tiny helium bubbles. According to the science journal Nature, analyzing the swirling motion of the bubbles enabled the scientists to discover "a new way in which birds use their tail to provide lift and so reduce drag while gliding... Their findings could provide a new way to improve the efficiency of small gliding aircraft."

More: "High aerodynamic lift from the tail reduces drag in gliding raptors" (Journal of Experimental Biology)