Flying with the birds

Taking to the sky amidst migrating flocks of birds: welcome to Christian Moullec's dream, which is already a truth

  • Flying with the birds

Christian Moullec has always been a birdwatcher. Today, at 58, he is also a birdman, i.e. a man who flies with birds. Literally. Almost every day, from March to October, Christian takes off with his ultralight aircraft from Saint Flour, in central France’s Cantal department on the slopes of the Massif Central, for a truly out-of-the-ordinary experience: flying with a flock of birds.
Moullec says that it’s a bit like ‘touching eternity’ - and no doubt taking part in a ritual that, despite being as old as the Earth, has always been inaccessible to humankind, must be somewhat magical. Christin’s purpose is to spread love and respect for animals in general and for birds in particular, raising awareness on the risks connected with our impact on the life of wild bird species in Europe, whose population has suffered a dramatic reduction over the last 30 years due to pollution and the disappearance of their natural habitats.
The experience of Voler aver les oiseaux(“flying with the birds”)was born in the mid-1990s. In his studies, Christian Moullec had focused on the migratory routes of lesser white-fronted geesethrough central France bound for Lapland. Because of human activity, the migration was becoming increasingly difficult and the destination did not always offer the protection and food that the birds needed in order to survive.
It was necessary to help these animals, but that could only be done by flying with them and thus by earning their trust. Thanks to his knowledge of Konrad Lorenz, Moullec used the imprinting technique to establish a relationship with the geeseand persuade them to follow him. He learned to drive an ultralight aircraft and within three years he was ready for his first flight to Sweden.
Today, Voler avec les oiseauxis a unique travel experience available for anyone wishing to try it. Clients may fly by ultralight aircraft or on a balloon and choose among different flight durations. The flight is usually individual, but couple flights are available on request.
The route allows you to fly over a wild and beautiful mountain area that laps the Plomb du Cantal, the second highest mountain in the French Central Massif. All profits are invested in Christian Moullec’s research and educational activities, all aimed at spreading the idea of respect of the natural world in the hope that such beauty will persuade more and more people to embrace a new lifestyle in harmony with nature and the animals.

Author : The Slowear Journal

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