The Birdman of the Skies Who Keeps Orphaned Birds Flying

One man and his ultralight plane are helping to show orphaned birds how to migrate while giving people a front row seat of nature in action.

Feb 4, 2018
Special Collections: ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

Cantal, France’s Christian Moullec, a 58-year-old conservationist microlight pilot, is putting his ability to fly to good use.



Much like artist and filmmaker Bill Lishman, the man who first flew with migrating Canadian geese in 1986 and is the subject of the 1996 Oscar-nominated film Fly Away Home, Moullec is using his microlight aircraft to help orphaned and often endangered birds learn the ropes of migration.

While Lishman, who recently passed away from leukemia at the age of 78, was known as Father Goose, Moullec has been christened the ‘Birdman’.

Moullec hand-raises birds in his home, and when they’re ready he begins the process of training them to follow him on safe migratory routes.

Often times it’s not a solo venture for Moullec — he welcomes onboard passengers to take in the spectacle with him.

Now with hundreds of migratory flights under his belt, the Moullec has helped to establish or re-populate colonies for several vulnerable species of birds across Europe.

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