As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Wedge-tailed eagle trained to carry camera and capture images of central Australia from above

Updated 23 Sep 2018, 6:19am
A wedge-tailed eagle is being used to capture a bird's-eye view of central Australia's landscape, thanks to a lightweight camera attached to its torso.
Key points:
Sonder performed in Alice Springs until he made contact with audience member
Since retirement Sonder has taken up photography
It's taken six months to train the four-year-old eagle to carry a camera
Four-year-old Sonder was previously the star of Alice Springs Desert Park's Birds of Prey live show.
But in 2016, the park was faced with a challenging situation after Sonder made contact with an audience member.
Senior keeper, animal behaviour and training, Cameron Candy said the decision was made to retire Sonder from performing.
The idea for teaching the wedge-tailed eagle to fly with a camera attached came about while the park was trying to reassess what Sonder could do next.
"There were many options including release, moving to another institution, or finding another role for him," Mr Candy said.
"I decided that it was a good opportunity to try something new and that's where the idea for training the bird to wear a harness with a camera came from. A creative response turning a negative into a positive."
He said given Sonder's young age, releasing him back into the wild would have taken more resources.
"It would have required a lot of training, much more than the camera project and follow-up to ensure that Sonder had the best chance of survival, as he is a hand-reared bird," Mr Candy said

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