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–
It’s an absolute operation.
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.
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.
It looks so fluid.
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.
It looks like a dinosaur.
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.
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.
‘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?
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.”
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.
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.

100 thoughts on “Super Slow Motion Birds

  1. I was watching Our Planet on Netflix and a part about the red-capped manakin bird reminded me of this video! And I think it would be awesome to see it in slow mo with you guys! The little guy just vibrates across the branch and claps its wings SO FAST

  2. When the birds are rousing it reminds me of myself (an autistic person) flapping my hands when I’m happy/excited!!

  3. It’s so cool to watch hummingbirds up close. I love the sound that they make. Truly amazing. Nicely done.

  4. This video made me realize, just how lowkey adorable birds are. And like absolutely beautiful. And all I need to do was see them in slow motion.

    Edit: I now want a bird.

  5. Can you capture a hummingbird hawk-moth? Not sure where to even begin but we see them in our yard in Chester county Pa. Feeding on hostas flowers.


    For those who aren't aware, this is what we demons call "a joke." I understand if you have difficulty comprehending such a detailed piece of writing.

  7. I live about two hours away from here and when dan said (i keep getting bit by these bugs) i was like lol mosquito's… and then the West Nile virus sets in jk… maybe.

  8. It was a miracle to see a hummingbird drink while landing. It's like seeing a fighter jet firing missiles while on land.

  9. I'm convinced dinosaurs weren't slow lumbering brutes but moved so fast they would of looked jerky to humans the way birds do. Imagine that chasing you.

  10. Yo I just FOUND SOMETHING CRAZY you guys might think I'm crazy but do u know the blinking thing 5:10 I can do it same can u

  11. I absolutely LOVE your videos and Slo Mo video is one of the most incredible and fascinating forms of videography that I have ever seen! The amount of detail (especially in the close-up clips of wild animals in slo mo) is awe-inspiring and, quite frankly, addicting to watch and examine! ?

    That being said, I have just watched a video, taken by a wasp and hornet expert by the youtube name of Hornet King, of a Bald Faced Hornet defending its small nest from an invasive spider.

    (The link to this particular video is:

    It’s unique in that it is in real time, HD, and filmed close up in amazing detail of a relatively “looked-over” and small insect.

    I noticed that the movements of the legs, antennae, and head of the lone hornet are so quick that a normal close up video device cannot even register the incredibly quick motions of this insect!

    I think Gav should attach a macro lens to the high-speed cameras and film clips of a hornet’s motion at around 1,000 fps and at greater than 10,000 fps.

    If you do this, I would be amazed by seeing the tiny individual parts of the insects body moving in ultra slo mo. I think that will really show the complexity of even the small insects we see every day!!!

    Btw; if you do end up doing this, PLEASE take all precautions against getting stung!


  12. We usually take animals for granted, so it is a treat to see how alien our earth really is. Even a simple goldfish or an insect are breathtakingly alien looking when filmed up close like this.

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