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Kestrels at Close Quarters – filming with a spotting scope

mai 31 2017 by Leander Khil | Category: Bird watching

Kestrels at Close Quarters – filming with a spotting scope
  • Kestrels at Close Quarters – filming with a spotting scope A Common kestrel in hunting mode.
  • Kestrels at Close Quarters – filming with a spotting scope Leander and Mario on the „set“.
  • Kestrels at Close Quarters – filming with a spotting scope

An upcoming TV documentary on the life of Europe's most widespread bird of prey reveals unseen details about the Common kestrel. Swarovski Optik's STX spotting scopes play a key role in the making of the film.

We all know the Common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus). The small falcon inhabits most of Europe and a very wide range of habitats, from the coastline up to alpine mountain ridges. But do we really know it? The details in the life of Europe's most common bird of prey remain unseen by many. To shed light on these details such as the daily struggle to survive and to raise young, is the mission of this feature-length bird documentary.

Large parts of the movie are being filmed with an unprecedented combination of equipment. 4K-cameras were combined with Swarovski Optik STX 95 and 65 spotting scopes – digiscoping has arrived in professional filmmaking! The very long focal lengths obtained and the compact design of the scopes are defining advantages that allow a highly flexible mode of operation.

The team lead by filmmaker Mario Kreuzer and ornithologist Leander Khil is currently tracing the birds in Austria for the second consecutive year. Right now, the breeding season is about to start: Falcons are looking for mates and nesting sites – crucial decisions are being made in the territories. The script is constantly being written by the birds themselves; the film will tell their stories.

Follow the project here and on instagram (#tinnunculusfilm). Kestrels at Close Quarters“ will air in late 2017 on Austrian TV's wildlife series Universum.


About the author

Leander Khil is an ornithologist, birdwatcher and wildlife photographer from Graz, Austria. Driven by his love for birds, adventure and the outdoors he travels the world since he was a child.



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