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Scientists get birds eye view using 'gannet cam'

Scientists have captured footage of what it is like to fly with the UK's largest seabird.

Researchers at Grassholm natural reserve in Wales attached miniature cameras to gannets nesting in the area, hoping to shed some light on the birds' behaviour.

Gannets up close as captured by the mini cam. Credit: Andy Hay/RSPB/PA

The footage shows the seabirds flying high above the Pembrokeshire coastline while ships pass below.

Watch: Video footage sheds light on birds' behaviour

"Seabirds spend most of their time at sea away from their nesting sites, making them difficult to study," scientist Steve Votier said.

Flying with gannets. Credit: Andy Hay/RSPB/PA

The lightweight camera works alongside a GPS unit that tracks birds' flights and measures how long they are flying, feeding or resting.

It also revealed how the birds make use of waste from fishing boats, and captured the gannets' high-speed dives to catch fish.

Conservationists believe the results could help to inform the protection of marine species in Wales.

"The goal is to continue this work in the long term to help provide a sustainable future for gannets and other marine life," Mr Votier said.

Fall in bird numbers is ‘alarming’

A starling in Blackheath in south-east London. Credit: Johnny Green/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The conservation director of the RSPB has warned that the “alarming” decline of bird species in the UK is continuing.

Martin Harper, commenting on the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch survey, said: “We know from the many people who take part in Big Garden Birdwatch every year that garden birds are incredibly precious to us and connect us to nature every day.

“But several of our familiar and best-loved species have been declining at alarming rates over the 34 years that the RSPB has been running the Birdwatch and this year's results show a continuing decline.”

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