Oxford University zoologists announced recently that they’ve developed miniature video cameras that can be attached to wild birds, giving them an unprecedented window into the behavior of the creatures. By studying up-close videos of New Caledonian crows, the group overturned certain assumptions about how and in what cases the birds use tools.
Each of the so-called “tailcams” weighs only 14 grams, and is attached to a bird’s tail feathers with tape. The idea is that the tiny size of the cameras allows the birds to act naturally. As you can see in the top image at left, it’s not quite a bird’s eye view. It looks a little more like a butt-cam, capturing the bird’s perspective from behind and below. Within a few weeks the tailcams fall off. You can check out a few of the videos here. Warning: It’s not exactly HD.—Gregory Mone
(Image credit: Jolyon Troscianko)