The Man on the Silver Mountain

EDIT:  A few people have expressed concern regarding the Eagle footage in this video.  I would like to share a public response to better explain the manor in which this footage was captured:

I appreciate your concern, and I think your heart is absolutely in the right place.  All birds, Eagles most of all, need to be protected, cared for, and looked after.

The thought that I, as such an avid flight enthusiast myself, would do ANYTHING to disturb or harm such a creature is just not true.  Again, I certainly appreciate your sentiment, but I feel it a bit misplaced in this case.

I was filming with my quadcopter, just above tree-top height, along that river (our LZ) well before the Eagle passed by.  He/she was flying along the river, and passed very near to my quadcopter.  Not so near that I was worried about collision, but near enough that I am very confident the Eagle was not concerned with sharing the air with it.  I followed him a short ways, staying well behind at first, and slowly approaching.  The Eagle did not seem concerned in the least.  I swung wide and tried to get a side-view, at which point the Eagle actually came closer to my quadcopter, resulting in the shot used in this video.  Again, I am very confident he was not scared, was not threatened,Š wasn’t even curious!

Also I should mention that I was not nearly as close as the video appears.  It was taken with a GoPro, but the field of view was set to narrow.  I was also shooting 2.7k HD (bigger than full-HD 1080), which allowed me to crop (zoom) in on the footage.

I did not set out to capture or “chase” this Eagle… he/she basically flew into my shot and I just flew along with them to briefly keep them in-frame.  It was very serendipitous, with circumstances likely never to occur again.  I was very lucky to be in the right place, right time, camera rolling…

Once again I would like to say that I understand and appreciate your concerns, and I think we share the same ideals regarding the treatment of birds.  I have also shared this footage with some very experienced and respected Falconers, and they were confident the Eagle was not threatened, concerned, or distressed in any manor- he was just going about his business as usual.

Some have compared this case of a 500mm electric quadcopter flying a straight path to a full size paraglider, with a human (“Super Dell”), wearing a 2-stoke gas engine and tirelessly chasing in all directions what is very clearly a bird trying to escape- never mind KICKING the animal- I am sorry, but these cases are nothing alike.

Lastly, I would like to apologize if my footage upset you.  Maybe with more information you can see it’s not what you thought it was?  But regardless, I aim to inspire people to appreciate flight, not upset anyoneŠ and so if my video has brought stress to you I do apologize.

And finally, I respectfully request that, if anyone else attempts to capture similar images- that they too do so very respectfully and are mindful that WE are the visitors in THEIR homes, and should behave as such.  That Eagle is “The Man on the Silver Mountain”.

Thanks and cheers all,
Ryan Voight