When the infamous "Eagle Cam" video, a tour of Chamonix filmed from the back of a raptor, surfaced last month, little was known about its origins. Fortunately, Adventure Journal tracked down the mysterious master of birds and has coaxed from him the secrets of his art.
The video is the creation of one Jacques Olivier Travers, operator of a raptor center and theme park in Haute-Savoie, France, that nurtures injured birds back to health and reintroduces them to the wild. A certified falconer in his early 20s, Travers is the youngest person in France ever to be certified to keep raptors in captivity.
To help the birds learn to fly again, Travers has taken to paragliding alongside them in the air, a method he thinks is more effective than traditional means of reintroduction. "What seemed a crazy bet has proved an extraordinary instrument of learning flight for birds," he told Adventure Journal. "So much so that they found a total independence after a few months opening the door to a new technique."
Travers believes that his raptor cam videos are a great way to expose the birds to the public, and as of Wednesday, the original Eagle Cam video has over six million views.
Below you can see a new video from Travers, filmed for a show on France's TF1 network, showing a white-tailed eagle named Victor as he follows a skier down a mountainside. Pretty cool.