By Charles Creasey
Incredible footage shows a real bird’s eye view of Britain – as a sea eagle was fitted with a headcam as she soared over the Orkney cliffs before landing on her keeper’s arm.
Barry Blyther of Elite Falconry attached a head-cam to five-year-old Marra last month so they could take in the idyllic views from their bird’s point of view.
The awe-inspiring video shows the white-tailed sea eagle swooping across the Scottish cliffs, before coming into land gently on his partner Roxanne Peggie ‘s arm.
The 30-year-old falconer initially thought nothing of it when she shared the ‘amazing’ moment on social media, but then it quickly went viral and amassed more than 260,000 views worldwide.
Roxanne, from Fife, Scotland, said: “Watching her fly was just incredible. It was just amazing to see her flying in her natural way.
“We were out on the Brough of Birsay and putting a headcam on a bird is something we’ve worked on for a very long time. But we’ve always wanted to do it right, with the bird’s welfare in mind.
“We aimed to get the camera positioned and set up so that the flight of the eagle is as natural as possible. The aim was to replicate a flight as if the eagle was in the wild.”
Roxanne and her partner Barry, 50, have been running Elite Falconry, offering ‘experience’ days for people to take part in bird-related activities. They also consult on television projects involving birds.
Their philosophy is to use ‘daylight seclusion aviaries’ to create a natural environment for the birds, where they are raised by their own kind instead of being hand – reared by humans.
Elite Falconry owner Barry said: “The aim was to create something as close as possible to the wild environment of the bird, as well as using new technologies to monitor flight.
“I believe our method of attaching a camera to a bird to replicate natural flight is the only of its kind in the world. It’s the most natural because it doesn’t interrupt how the animal would be in the wild.
“With the harness we’ve created, the bird can flip about and fly cross wind, downwind – anywhere really.
“The picture clarity is without equal because other people have tried but the footage always comes out blurry. The camera is so stable with our method.
“We follow the same theory in capturing footage as we do raising our birds – the most natural way possible. We’re all about husbandry and the welfare of the animals.”
The video received 262,000 views online, 3,500 reactions and nearly 5,000 shares.
Roxanne said: “It’s just amazing. I didn’t expect the video to go that mad – especially globally.
“I admit it’s my first viral video. It’s just really lovely to see so many people having so much interest in something so natural.
“The reaction was brilliant too. It’s great to see people interested in nature and natural things as opposed to online and internet based things.
“I suppose It’s just really nice to know so many people have got an interest in birds.”
Social media user Patricia Gaffney who saw the footage wrote: “This is truly awesome – magnificent.
“We are indeed privileged in these times of modern technology to be able to view such earth footage that even our parents could never have dreamed of.”
Tyson Greer wrote: “I’ve been to beautiful Birsay, but never before on the back of an eagle. Felt like a queen in a fantasy novel. Thanks for the ride.”
Gretchen Gobble added: “Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience. The difference between flying and soaring is incredible. The landscape is beautiful. So, so cool.”