This is what happens when you put a go-pro on a pelican’s beak

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 7:53am
Kasey Panetta, Managing Editor

There have been some insane advances in the technology behind video cameras in the past few years. Video cameras have caught onto the miniaturization trend, but as the size shrinks, the capabilities grow. This means lighter cameras that are able to shoot and store videos with high quality images. Perhaps more excitingly is that this trend has allowed people to share once-in-a-life time experiences.

Though GoPro has had some trouble with wayward animals stealing their cameras and accidentally recording moments previously unseen by humans, this video came about a little bit differently.

A few months ago, a Great White pelican, affectionately called Big Bird, ended up stranded on Greystoke Mahale, which is a beach in Tanzania. The group that found him thinks that he might have become separated from his flock during a storm. Since he was only about three months old at the time he wasn’t able to fly very well and was unable to fish by himself. Eventually, the team was able to show Big Bird how to fly—they say by running up and down the beach flapping their arms—and fly he did.


The team attached a camera to Big Bird’s beak to record the bird as he flew. The insane clarity that's offered by this camera given the fact that it's attached to a bird that is literally flying through the air is really impressive. I was a little skeptical about this until I saw how big this bird—hence Big Bird—actually is and the minor effect the GoPro had on his flight. The area you see behind Big Bird is the Mahale National Park.


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