Monday, July 7, 2014

Slope Soaring UMX Radian and Mobbing of an Eagle

This 4th of July I had the opportunity to fly my UMX Radian from a small slope for the first time; I was very impressed how well it flew from the slope. For a rudder – elevator glider it was very responsive yet stable. At times the wind would gust hard and if the plane would not penetrate electric power was available to push forward; if the lift did die it is also nice to be able to power back and not have to retrieve the glider from the bottom of the hill.  Wind greater than 15 mph probably would be too much for this little glider.

Slope Soaring UMX Radian 
Slope Seen from Front

When I started flying my glider I noticed small birds flying around also possibly chasing it at times, after a time I did not see them again. What followed was one of the biggest surprises when flying a model airplane; I see this huge bird fly from behind me to out in front. It was maybe only 50 feet away from me as it passed by. It had the distinctive white head and tail of a bald eagle.  The eagle flew out front of me and then started to climb in a thermal, I landed my glider and started to video the flight of the eagle. What I saw next was a small bird was following the eagle as it was climbing ever higher. 

Bald Eagle Chased by Small Bird

When I got home I searched on the Internet to see why a small bird would chase after such a large bird as an eagle. There term for this is “mobbing” which is fairly common for a variety of combinations of small birds and raptors.  One might wonder why the raptor doesn’t try to retaliate and grab the small birds with its talons but it seems that the energy expenditure to do so just isn’t worth it.

Bill Kuhl

No comments:

Post a Comment