Bird Films Aerial View of Penguin Colony After Stealing Camera

Ralphie Aversa
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A new video filmed with a spy camera is giving a literal meaning to the phrase "bird's-eye view."

Producers working on a new BBC series, " Penguins — Spy in the Huddle," set up a camera in an enclosure that looked like an egg. The footage would be combined with 1,000 hours of shots of a rockhopper penguin colony. John Downer Productions, the company behind the series, deployed 50 spycams to reveal never-before-seen behavior among the penguins.

With one of the producers' "eggcams," the audience receives not only a captivating scene, but also an exclusive view. The egg enclosure for the device apparently looks and feels so authentic that it fooled a bird. A curious striated caracara grabs the egg and flies off into the sky. With the camera still rolling, the caracara unknowingly records the first-ever aerial footage of a rockhopper penguin colony shot by a bird.

No words can do justice to the bird's-eye view and the incredible recording. The caracara flies over a sea of penguins in a scene that looks almost too cool to be real.

For the project, the company used 24 different eggcams. Of those, three were lost due to weather. Another two devices were picked up by birds, never to be seen again. In addition to the losses, the production company notes that on several occasions, the eggcams were "adopted" by emperor or rockhopper adults who had lost their chicks.

"Penguins — Spy in the Huddle" is available on iTunes now.