Super Slow Motion Birds

Today, we’re in Shawnee, Oklahoma. More specifically, we’re at the Potawatomi Nation bird aviary, where they’ve got some eagles, hawks, even hummingbirds. So we’re gonna film a variety of wings, big and small, in super slow mo. The downside is, it’s raining and it’s quite dark, so we’re gonna have to wait for some holes in these clouds, but hopefully, we’ll get some lovely-looking footage. – Why don’t we go and meet the people? – Quickly, it’s raining. It’s raining, yeah. Hi. Great to meet you, Jennifer. Bree, how’s it going? – Good to have you here. – Very nice to meet you. So what is it that you guys do here? – What are you responsible for? – Well, we are humbled to be able to care for these wonderful eagles here. All these eagles you meet here have been injured in some way. So we need to take care of them now. They can’t take care of themselves out in the wild. Dan: That’s really good. What other kind of birds do you have here? We have falcons and hawks, and then we have a golden eagle also.

I’ve been told you’ve also got hummingbirds, as well, not just birds of prey. Are they a part of this or are they– They are just wild hummingbirds. But we’re lucky enough to have them come visit here. We have planted specific plants for pollinators– monarchs, hummingbirds, so I think that helps, too. We’ve also stopped spraying, so we don’t use any pesticides or any chemicals down here that would be harmful, so there’s an ample supply of things they need. – Oh, sweet. – All right, I think we should wait for it to stop raining, and then we’ll go and film some birds. – So, who’s this guy? – His name is Nikon. This is actually we call an Augur Buzzard, so he’s a relative of red-tailed hawks, – kinda like their cousin. – Cool tips. He’s gonna do what we call rousing. See all his feathers puffing out. All birds do this. It means he’s very happy right now, so he must like you two. Why haven’t you never roused for me? Sorry, I don’t really know what to say to that.

I think it would be cool to start with a shot where he’s coming right at the camera, ’cause then we’ll see him braking and putting his feet forward. – Let’s try that. – Yeah, let’s try that. That’s pretty good. Gav: Look at that. Wow. Dan: They all just look so easy and quick in real time, but then when you see it in slow-motion– Gav: It’s an absolute operation. Dan: Yeah, there’s so much to it. He sticks his feet out first. Puts the brakes on. – Lands. – That’s amazing. Jennifer: We’ll try that a couple of times. – Are you ready? – Ready! – That was cool. – Are we good? Yeah, that’s great. Gav: Wow. That’s a leap, as well. – Dan: Yeah, that’s a jump, isn’t it? – Gav: Yeah. Dan: Wow. Look at all the– they spread out like fingers. He’s looking right where he’s gonna put his feet. That was amazing. All right, Bree, who’s this fella? This Miata Bay. This is out golden eagle.

Usually, when we put him out on a perch, he’ll give us a good rouse. So if you guys wanna try that out? Yeah, I’ll get a slow mo rouse. He seems really tame. He’s been with us since he was about a year old, so he’s really accustomed to people. – Go on. – Look at his feathers. I got it. Gav: Huh. He actually shed quite a lot of small bits. Dan: It looks like he’s in a fan. It doesn’t even look like he’s doing it to himself. It just looks like it’s really windy. Wow. Gav: Pretty impressive dexterity over all those different feathers. Dan: It looks so fluid. Gav: Yeah. That was cool. How close can we get to him? Like, would I be able to get a close-up of his face? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, you’re fine.

Watch your feet. Okay, let’s zoom right in on him here. – I think that was his blink. – Yeah. Gav: Let’s have a look at that. – Oh, that’s weird. – Do you wanna see this? – Yeah. – Oh, man. Okay, ready? That is crazy. – Oh, my God. – Dan: It actually pauses. It’s closed, and then it’s open again. Gav: It looks like a dinosaur. Dan: That’s just one at a time. – It’s so weird. – Bree: Oh, my God. – Gav: Isn’t that crazy? – Dan: That is mental.

And they don’t even close and open at the same time. Gav: You can actually– ’cause of the angle of the eye, you can see it like a curtain coming around. Bree: Yeah, it comes around. Gav: It’s so crazy. I could film this all day. – So that’s his inner eyelid. – Mm-hmm. So when they’re hunting and flying, you know, they can just– – it just keeps their eye moist. – And it’s thin enough – for them to see through. – They can see through it. So this seems to be a pretty active bush for hummingbirds. So we’ve set up the 25/11 at 28,500 frames a second, and have attached a really long trigger cable.

So we’ll get out the way, and hopefully when we leave, they’ll come back and eat. And action, hummingbirds. Got Dan on the binoculars. Dan: No. Gav: Look, there’s one there, that– oh. All right, go on, son. Go on, son. Get in there. Go on, son. Yeah, you can trigger it now any time. All right, take five, hummingbirds. Gav: Wow. Even though it’s out of focus, the very tip of the wing is in focus. Dan: ‘Cause the focus is so fine on this one, isn’t it? Gav: It’s just so shallow. Going for the landing. He did that without moving his head an inch. Dan: It’s weird how they move their tails like that to stabilize, isn’t it? Gav: Yeah, it’s causing little gusts of wind on his back feathers. Oh, it’s insane. They’re just moving their wings around so quick. It’s almost like he’s steering his shoulders and the head and body are just like– – they just follow along. – Dan: Yeah.

We got him feeding there in mid-air. Gav: Didn’t bother landing. Oh, that’s cool. All right, two Phantoms at once, shall we? So this one is much higher resolution, but not nearly as fast. Doesn’t take them long to come back, does it? Dan: No, they quickly see that you’re gone and start trying to feed again. Gav: He’s checking them all out. Yeah. Yeah! All right, trigger it. Not sure what we’ll get there. – Gav: Oh, look at that. – Whoa. Whoa! Gav: He just is not happy about it. Dan: Dive-bombs him. Let him feed.

Gav: He’s not having it. Dan: He’s looking at the other one, thinking, “Am I allowed to feed?” The other one was like, “Then I’ll feed.” Gav: Well, I saw it in real time and it just looked like playing or something. But in this, it looks so violent. They’re very territorial. And that beak is a weapon. – It’s like a little sword. – Dan: Yeah. – Gav: He’s going for it. – It’s all right. It’s safe, it’s safe. Dan: Oh, you can see it gulping. – Gav: That must be his tongue. – You see that? It’s properly gulping it down. That was wicked. Fun to film. Fun to watch. I don’t think there’s any better subject in slow-mo than animals and nature.

– It’s very cool. – Even the eagle blinking, it was so alien-looking. There’s white curtains coming from the under eyelids sweeping over. So cool that they can see through that when they’re flying. – Yeah. – It has a real– yeah. I’m blown away, honestly. Hopefully, you enjoyed that video. Feel free to subscribe to the Slow Mo Guys, and click over here for more episodes of “Planet Slow Mo.” We’ll just wait here while you make a decision. – You all right? – Yeah, I’m just getting bitten by all these bugs. Oh, it’s all right. Don’t worry about it. .

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