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Thursday, December 18, 1997 Published at 10:44 GMT


Where eagles fly
image: [ The only BBC camera operator who can fly ]
The only BBC camera operator who can fly

It is the ultimate in aerial photography - stunning views over the Italian Alps, filmed quite literally on the wings of an eagle.

It has been made possible by a 12-year-old golden eagle called Kintyre.

[ image: A new point of view]
A new point of view
The bird has been trained for a BBC documentary to carry a camera and a transmitter as it soars over the Alps.

The result is some of the most remarkable wildlife footage ever taken.

The project is the brainchild of wildlife producer John Downer, renowned for his innovative film techniques.

[ image: Eagle-sized technology]
Eagle-sized technology
"The idea was that we would use them to take the viewer into the eagle's world and I think there's nothing more exciting, more thrilling than to be sitting on the back of an eagle to do that," he said.

He adapted a lightweight video camera, attached it to a tiny transmitter, and strapped it to Kintyre's back.

[ image: A breakthrough in wildlife filming]
A breakthrough in wildlife filming
The camera was specially designed so that most of the weight was underneath him, a situation he would have been used to as it is where eagles normally carry their prey.

Mr Downer's next project is to fit the camera to a bird which flies in a flock so it can film the others.

Kintyre had extensive training before he went on location.

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