Raptor Force
Introduction

NATURE takes flight on an exhilarating ride with elite winged predators in Raptor Force.

Humans have had a unique relationship with raptors, nature’s aerial killing machines, for more than four thousand years, first through the ancient sport of falconry, and, more recently, as scientists and engineers have turned to these mighty birds — from golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, and turkey vultures, to great gray owls and the peregrine falcon — as the inspiration for the latest in aircraft design. Using the tricks and tactics of raptors as their model, engineers have devised fighter jets with unprecedented maneuverability and stealth.

In Raptor Force, you’ll learn the secrets of these astonishing aerialists, and how they’ve mastered, more than any other type of bird, the art of soaring. And with the help of engineer and falconer Rob MacIntyre’s ingenious miniature television station — a camera, transmitter, and battery small enough to be harnessed onto the backs of raptors — you’ll see for yourself what it’s like to fly with these deadly aces.

Online content for Raptor Force was originally posted February 2007.

To order a copy of Raptor Force, please visit the NATURE Shop.

  • Chikita69

    I love eagles. They are my favorite animals in the entire world. They are like so totally smart homie and they are leaders. They don’t eat any meat that they don’t kill. To me homie’ that is like so firme.
    Well thats it for today. Alratoz.

  • http://www.birdtalk.eu/forum/off-topic-chat/3225-tonight-pbs-u-s-raptor-force.html#post26378 Tonight on PBS (U.S.) : Raptor Force – Bird Talk The Bird Forum

    [...] on PBS (U.S.) : Raptor Force Nature . Raptor Force – Introduction – Eagles, Hawks, Owls, and Falcons | PBS [...]

  • Joke Vanderschoot

    I never knew that flight engineers actially studied the flight caracteristics of raptors and applied them to their own flying machines. i want to order that video and send it to my retired airforce brother who actially invented something to improve flight simulators.

  • Greg Scharf

    Will the nature episode Raptor Force be shown in Kansas City, Missouri? If so, when? and on which station?

  • John Kahl

    I LOVE raptors! They are truly Magnificent! I’m always awed by their beauty and first class nobility
    They are my favorite birds!!!

  • Gary

    My wife and I are members and supporters of the Carolina Raptor Center located in Charlotte, NC which is one of the leading raptor reabilitation centers in the United States http://www.carolinaraporcenter.org. Raptor Force is the best documentary is best I’ve ever seen on Raptors. Keep it up PBS for showing such great videos on Raptors. I would encourage everyone to support your local Raptor reabilitation center and and write your congressman to make sure these beautiful birds are forever protected by law.

  • Gary

    The Carolina Raptor Center’s correct website address is: http://www.carolinaraptorcenter.org

  • Sam Lusareta

    Right now is a very important time for the research between Raptor Migration and Wind Mills in Pennsylvania. Last year on Sept 19, Hawk Mt Sanctuary countedover 3,700 Broadwing hawks migrating. The resulting height and location via the research o bird counting will hopefully determine the location of wind mills. Get involved in local counts, I think these next few year will be crucial.

    I would love PBS to cover this story, maybe even help with the research.

    This is video is great, thank you for an excellent job; Im definatley getting it.

  • kaycie harper

    i love animals i loved them since i was a babby that is why i want to be a verteian!!!

  • Shelley Young

    The show was awe inspiring. Both the photography and the education kept me glued to my seat, and wanting more after it was over. Thank You…..

  • janet rupp

    last night 9/24 my son and i watched raptor force. it was EXCELLENT! since his 5th grade class is studying raptors, i would like you to air it again in the very near future at night when the kids could watch it, i would like to tell his teacher to have the kids watch it. it would be great if you could do that. i will be checking wliw listings to see when it is on so i can tell the teacher, thanks so much. janet rupp

  • sloba onmedich

    golden eagles do eat carrion in the winter…ive witnessed this many times in my homeland..homie

  • N.Daniels

    This was by far the best documentary I have seen on “raptors” I was totally in awe of the falcon, hawk and eagle cams… great job!

  • nelson floyd

    It was so cool to watch such magnificent birds in
    flight and what they can do is just amazing.

  • krazy k

    loed your show on raptors keep up the great shows

  • Patti

    I watched Raptor Force and it was magnificant. Is it possible that it will be scheduled in the near future as I would like my family to see it, especially my husband who loves planes and falcons.

  • Robert Goll

    When will the next Raptor force be shown?

  • Martin Wood

    An amazing blend of natures best and man made best. A truly awesome display of aerobatic flight both natural and high-tech.

  • b boy king9

    cool i love raptors they are my fav

  • Lynne G

    This show was absolutely amazing, I want to watch it over and over–as a photographer, the section on optics was particularly fascinating.

  • Major Homie

    Yo man, i totally dig it. Raptors in gens are totally dope.

  • Pritty1

    Yo P-bo dis game is so off da hook. ilove it homie g i like so like stonkin love dis sang i just lost a bunch of money bettin iss gonna be borin and i justlike omg love this game i mean i like cheetos 2

  • Steve Hogseth

    I was just looking at your website, to see when you might be showing a “Nature” program entitled “Raptor Force”. I was very pleased to see it will be shown on Sunday, Sept 21. So I went to mark it on my calendar, and noticedSept 21 is a Monday??? Looking closer at other Nature shows, I see other errors, where you are advertising shows that have alreadu aired; the dates are history. This is very confusing, and I suggest you correct such scheduling. By the way, can you tell me if Raptor Force will be aired again, and when? Thanks!

  • Mike

    Interesting!

  • B_E_N

    THIS WAS ONE OF THE MOST FASCINATING NATURE PROGRAMS I HAVE WATCHED, EVER !

    *) I’ts eaily a “MUST see” !

  • Betty

    Chikita69, They don’t eat any meat that they don’t kill.
    Not true, they are opportunisticnistic eaters, I have seen them eat on deer that was killed on the road.

  • angelofearth

    Absolutely riviting! Thanks so much for yet another wonderful program… educational and entertaining.

  • kelli

    was the falcon injured at the end? it looked like it crashed because of the camera. I did not get a great look of the ending,please tell me the bird is ok.

  • Andrew Tempest

    I loved this program! Birds of prey are among my favorite animals, and this episode of Nature does them the best justice EVER! :D

  • Mike Goldston

    As a slope soarer and RC glider flyer,I found Raptor Force a fascinating program. More advanced and aggressive slope soarers have been using Dynamic Soaring techniques for several years and have achieved constantly increasing speed records (now well over 300mph). To find that vultures have used dynamic soaring techniques for millionsof years was very insightful and humbling. Man is not the only creature to explore and apply such techniques. I highly recommend this show for anyone who loves raptore or flying of any kind.

  • Jennifer

    I just caught the last few minutes of this episode. What happened to that falcon??? It looked like it crashed bad (possibly due to the camera on its back) but they didn’t really say what exactly happened or if the bird was OK. Does anyone know?

  • Jennifer

    OK, they have a video clip of the last couple minutes of the episode on this site and it looks like the “crash” was when the falcon caught its prey, and then it landed safely. It happened so fast you had to really pay attention! It was confusing, especially since the men were yelling “Oh! Oh!” then “Oh my God!” like something was wrong. I guess it was just amazement.

  • Troy

    Nature’s show Raptor Force, one of the very best documentaries I seen in a long time. The show was absolutely breath taking and very educational. Magnificant film making. I was only able to see the last half of the show due power outage caused by bad weather. I hope it will, I would really love to see the entire episode. Great programing, keep up the good work!

  • peg smith

    Thank you PBS. FYI – The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia installed a web cam in March 2009 over the nest of two red tail hawks on the ledge of a window outside the board room. We watched from eggs to fledge and beyond. The archival footage and more is available from the website The Franklin Institute Hawk Nest

  • Flight Simulator Yoke

    Raptors are amazing. They have so much grace about them. I enjoy watching them soar above the trees waiting to pounce.

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