Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Albatross Cam

The latest in techno wildlife research includes a number of images taken by a lipstick sized camera mounted on the back of a Black-browed Albatross. This article in the online journal PLoS ONE describes the images obtained from the birds at sea.

A: a ‘featureless’ sea, B: an iceberg encountered, C: a killer whale breaking the ocean surface, apparent from its dorsal fin (white arrow) and three black-browed albatrosses attracted to the whale, D: two albatrosses flying in association with the camera-mounted bird, E: a fisheries vessel in the distance (white arrow) with an aggregation of birds, F: a bright light source during the night, possibly a vessel or the moon.
Image and caption from PLoS ONE.

Photo C is really interesting. The bird appears to be following an Orca that just surfaced in front of it an a couple other albatross. The subsequent photos were all blocked by feathers but the associated temperature recorder on the bird suggested that the albatross landed on the surface shortly after this photo was taken. HT to Birders World for this one.

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