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)

Read the rest

Watch: Octopus vs. eagle

Fish farmers on Canada's Vancouver Island spotted an eagle in the clutches of a giant Pacific octopus. Realizing the eagle would soon drown, the men freed the raptor from the cephalopod's tentacles and set it free.

“He deprived the poor octopus of a good meal,” University of Lethbridge octopus expert Jennifer Mather joked to The Guardian. “They’re quite wide in their prey choice. If something is on the surface of the water, and the octopus is close to the surface of the water, it’s food.”

Read the rest

Video: Peregrine falcons can fly at more than 200 miles per hour

Peregrine falcons are the dive bombers of the natural world, flying at speeds over 200 mph to snag their prey. Read the rest

Watch this owl's incredibly precise flying

Not only are owls incredibly agile flyers, they're also silently stealthy.

(r/NatureIsFuckingLit)

Owl through legs (full speed)
Read the rest

All the news that's fit to print

FYI: Wild hawks are doin' it in New York City. Read the rest