Lovers of the Eagle Cam, prepare to be amazed.
Suzanne Amador Kane, of Haverford College in Pennsylvania, wanted to know how exactly falcons pursue their prey in the air, and how flocks of birds react to raptor attacks. Finding no substantial literature on the subject, Amador Kane reached out to falconers around the globe and found a few who were willing to let her attach miniature spy cameras to their birds.
What she found was that instead of pursuing directly from behind, an inefficient method that allows the prey to easily evade and eventually tire out its pursuer, falcons use their unique vision to head off and intercept their victims.
"Falcons have two regions of very acute vision: one directed almost in the forward direction and the other dramatically off to the side, 30 degrees off," Amador Kane told the Journal of Experimental Biology.
The second angle, it turns out, allows the falcon to maneuver in a way that keeps the prey motionless against the falcon's field of vision. It also allows them to track their prey from a positon of stealth. The prey doesn't see the attack coming until the last possible moment, likely shortening the hunt by a wide margin.
All this is secondary, of course, to the awesome birds-eye footage of falcons bombing through the sky and taking down their unsuspecting prey.