“This is a stunning animated GIF that shows the agility of a Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone affinis), beautifully captured in slow motion by Dr Lee Van Hien.
“This animation has 16 sequential frames of crisp and clear images. The first frame shows the flycatcher eyeing the insect prey that had perched on a twig above. The flycatcher takes flight, using its wings to propel itself upwards. This sudden movement of outstretched wings also frightens the insect from its perch. The insect than flew behind the flycatcher to out manoeuvre the bird. The bird makes a dramatic back flip somersault and catches the insect on the fly. When the insect was securely caught between its beaks the flycatcher dives down.
“The freeze frames from this animation helps the viewer to easily observe the various positions of the flycatcher’s wings, tail and anatomy more precisely. Even the flycatcher’s eyes shows how fixated they are on the prey throughout the animation. Watching the same action continuously in normal video mode is not so effective because it does not allow sufficient time to appreciate all these interesting details.
To conclude, animated GIF has its place in observing the behaviour of birds, especially birds manoeuvring in flight.
Thong Chow Ngian writeup & Dr Lee Van Hien (animated GIF)
4th November 2017