If you’re a two year old, injured snowy owl in need of some new feathers, you’ll be lucky to find yourself at a raptor center like the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota. There, someone like Avian physiologist Lori Arent can perform the modern version of an old falconers’ procedure called imping – when a bird’s damaged flight feathers are replaced with a stronger ones. From National Geographic:
“I have a whole freezer full of harvested feathers, of different types and sizes, and I wanted to choose the right ones for this animal. I picked feathers from a male the same age as this bird and they fit perfectly…”
She then whittled small sticks of bamboo so that one end poked into the shaft of the new feather and the other into the shaft still attached to the bird (where the burned feathers had been carefully sheared off).
With a little drop of quick-drying epoxy, she cemented each new feather into place. “If attached right, the new feathers are just as effective as the old ones” in letting a bird do all of its aerial maneuvers, she said….
Eventually, the owl will lose the borrowed feathers—in a process called molting—and grow its own new ones.
Snowy owls are amazing animals that travel long distances every year. Watch Snowy Owl Invasion.
And another lucky bird: Rocky the Bald Eagle is released from the Eagle Valley Raptor Center.
This beautiful paper cut-out animated video for Grant Olney's Not From Body was directed by Hlín Davíðsdóttir. It follows an owl being ostracized by other animals in the forest and how the owl moves beyond that experience. From NPR:
"My main focus was to tell the story of a character that, through a series of both sad and comical moments, finds his own path in life," Davíðsdóttir writes. "I felt the song was about trying not to worry about things that are out of our control and I wanted that feeling to come across in the video."
On a side note: Grant is a mathematician with a PhD in high-dimensional geometry.
Related watching: Sesame Street’s 3 striped balls & polka dot ball and more works in paper.
The Old Mill, a Walt Disney Silly Symphonies cartoon from 1937.
Like many of the later Silly Symphonies, The Old Mill was a testing-ground for advanced animation techniques. Marking the first use of Disney’s multiplane camera, the film also incorporates realistic depictions of animal behavior, complex lighting and color effects, depictions of rain, wind, lightning, ripples, splashes and reflections, three-dimensional rotation of detailed objects, and the use of timing to produce specific dramatic and emotional effects. All of the lessons learned from making The Old Mill would subsequently be incorporated into Disney’s feature-length animated films, especially 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
From photographer Joel Sartore's Biodiversity Project, a video to promote his book Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, which beautifully showcases species that are in danger of disappearing in America, and some that “have come back from the brink.”
Advice from Joel about helping animals? Start by:
…visiting and patronizing your local zoo. Zoos and aquariums are vitally important to conservation today. Not only do they fund and manage captive breeding programs, but they are increasingly involved in conservation of habitat in the wild. Find an accredited zoo or aquarium in your area here.
Last but not least, learn more about your favorite animal. A simple web search will likely lead you to the organizations working on its conservation. Support them. And share what you know with your friends and family. The more people who are informed and who care, the better.
There is also a pretty funny video from behind the scenes of his shoot:
h/t NYT’s LENS.