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Birds and drones, scientific study

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Randolph_Kricke, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Randolph_Kricke

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    Hi all,
    working in a local administration for nature conservation in Germany I'm keen on performing a study on the interaction between birds and drones. I saw some videos on YouTube and found a few chats here, but I'd be very grateful if you could help me telling your stories and observations concerning this topic. Please mention time of the day as well as date and try to identify the bird of not possible, I can do for you if providing a picture or description at least.
    Thank you very much for your support!!
    Best, Randolph
     
  2. Ed_2020

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    Hi,
    In my experience, every bird is at least curious when spoting a drone, it is very common for them to come close and inspect or try to "intimidate" the invasor.

    Never had a real contact, but I feel sorry for the ones that try that, as I believe they can't see the blades and can get hurt.

    The most common ones where I fly are seagulls, swallows, southern lapwing and small hawks.

    It appears the time of day has no influence on their behaviour towards the drone. The most agressive so far were the southern lapwings, probably protecting their nests.
     
  3. WetDog

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    Been flying around bald eagles in Alaska. They ignore the thing. If you get too close, they fly away.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots
     
  4. Jayfdee

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    gull falesia.JPG falesia2.JPG
    I have had plenty of gulls fly around me, they do not seem bothered. Also I often fly over wetlands, and various wading birds are well below me and not bothered.
    The second pic above has about 10 gulls in view, they often come very close, not trying to intimidate, they are just showing off that they are a better pilot than me.
     
  5. Traveler

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    Greetings,
    I can offer three different experiences that cover the curious, the not so curious, and the intent on harm IMO. I hope these helps your effort.

    Within the last couple of weeks I have been flying at an RC field that is adjacent to a diminishing seasonal pond that is in use by Western Blackbirds, Red-winged Blackbirds, species of long tail Blackbirds, maybe species of sandpipers, and several verity of ducks. Except for all the Blackbird species, the remainder confine themselves to the pond. The Blackbirds are however much more active with flight to and from the pond. Sometimes as few as 2 or 3' while other times they are in much greater numbers. They don't appear to take much notice of the drone in flight, but some appear to be concerned about my human presence, but not very often. While flying, I give them space and they have never given me the impression that they were flying for any reason related to the drone.

    Ravens are a different story. Not affiliated with the pond, but within the same geographical location, here is a story I authored in February, 2016, but never posted. It speaks of my experience with the Raven. It was officially still winter, but the days were more like an early spring.


    Eric M. Moore, The Daily Courtier said "Raven behavior is a bit disturbing during nesting season."

    Today I found this to be a true statement. Not a surprise to see Raven's in my area (California), as I suspect they are equally prevalent in many parts of the US, but until today, they had never really displayed an interest in my P3. That all changed today. I was working with the Litchi app when I launched a mission that would make a simple circle and test the poi function. Everything was working as expected when all the sudden my bird was being surrounded by 3, then 5, then more than 20 Ravens. As I said, I see them often, so the first 3 didn't cause great alarm, but 20 plus. I was fortunately flying a low level (85 feet) tight circle, or this could have ended badly. I quickly switched back to P mode and dropped altitude. The descent, and luck of a higher elevation hawk showing up gave them an alternative intruder to be concerned about, thus my bird escaped without harm, but my nerves, not so much.
    I was flying in an area that did not have a large clear field of view, some trees on three sides, and this certainly gave the Ravens the element of surprise. Wait them out I thought, and yes they did eventually leave the area, or seemingly so. Cautiously, up again I went, in full control this time, when suddenly they returned. Again I dropped the P3 like a stone, except this time I hovered about 10 feet and hoped that if I could just stay in the same place, they may circle, conclude I am not a threat, and call it a day, but every time I elevated, they returned. Proof in my mind, my bird was their focus and I do believe they were intent on causing some harm. After all, a hawk could certainly survive a midair bump from them, but spinning props and feathers don't mix.
    Lessons learned: Comparably speaking, they rule the air, and other flyers should be aware of their territorial response to threats (aka drones) during this time of year. They are very large, very acrobatic, and clearly a threat to a meek P3. It is also notable that they came from all directions and elevation, thus it was very difficult to fly and be watchful for them. I recommend giving them their space. End...

    My last notable experience with a bird was in south Utah. Flying in Red Cliff Recreation Area, I had a Swallow give me a flyby. I attributed it to curiosity and I only observed it once. Here is a picture that clearly shows him or her checking out the Phantom.
    [​IMG]

    I hope all your collected experiences will be shared back with the forum.

    Cheers


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots
     
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  6. Jayfdee

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    Swallows are the ultimate pilots,they can turn on a sixpence,I often run on trails and sometimes they almost fly between my legs, guess I kick up a few bugs.
     
  7. Traveler

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    Agree 100%, they are so quick. They appear as if they have obstacle avoidance beyond sight.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots
     
    #7 Traveler, Oct 17, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  8. Randolph_Kricke

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    Hi, thanks, this is interesting, because mainly it is reported that birds of prey tend to attack drones. May I ask how close you could fly and which copter you have? Do you feel the eagles were chased off or they just avoided the proximity of the device?
     
  9. Randolph_Kricke

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    Hi, thanks, this is interesting that waterbirds seem to well ignore the flying device. May I ask in which distance to the birds do you normally fly? Do you fly high or low? Slow or fast?
     
  10. Randolph_Kricke

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    #10 Randolph_Kricke, Oct 17, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  11. Randolph_Kricke

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    ...yes ,I will make a publication based on my own studies and the experiences reported here and I'll link it in the forum
     
  12. RC Madman

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    I have had some large cranes flying near by turn around to investigate the drone then carry on. I have seen some horrible videos on YT that show hawks protecting their space and the drone pilot continued to fly there regardless. The Hawk attacked the drone a number of times. Not sure if it was injured or not. Just as we need to be mindful of people in our area we need to respect the wildlife equally.
     
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  13. Cobs

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    Hi Randolph, the only birds i have came across (so far) that seem completely indifferent to my drone are Cormorants, NW England UK ... FF to 02:47 ...


    Ones that swoop near or come close to it: Magpies, Swifts, Swallows, others seem to just avoid it, the Magpie is a very intelligent creature (self aware) so i suspect they are just coming to see what it is and seem playful around it without coming too close.
     
    #13 Cobs, Oct 17, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  14. Great Pumpkin

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    Flocks of Canada geese will scatter when a Phantom is as close as 100 m from them.
     
  15. Traveler

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    Certainly, albeit I am no ornithologist, but I believe they are classified as the Common Raven. They are very plentiful here in California.
    Today the weather is gloomy, but when I can I will snap a shot for you in one of their favorite places, the telephone pole, lol.

    Glad you enjoyed the Swallow pic. I was lucky to get it.


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots
     
  16. Randolph_Kricke

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    Thanks for your report about the cranes. Yes, you're right, we should respect nature as we are part of it. that's what I'm doing this survey for, because more and more people fly drones and me as a representative of nature conservation authorities will soon be asked whether regulations concerning nature reserve areas are necessary. Up to now I don't think we need more regulations, the ones for the aircraft traffic are enough. But I'm not sure, so let's see
     
  17. Randolph_Kricke

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    Hi, thanks, very interesting, the cormorants completely ignore the drone

    Gesendet von meinem E5823 mit Tapatalk
     
  18. Randolph_Kricke

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    Thanks for that report. Canada geese might be especially important because on YouTube I watched a video where the male goose took down the drone. It happened on a golf course, it was a pair of geese, so maybe the male was full of testerone and showed off in front of his wife may I ask how high did you fly when the geese flew away? Did you pass over or did they went off while you were approaching?

    Gesendet von meinem E5823 mit Tapatalk
     
  19. Great Pumpkin

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    It was a flock of about 20-30 geese grazing on a field. I took off 100 m from them on each of a couple occasions. Went straight up to a height of about 20-30 m and no closer to them or over them. At first they moved away on the ground, but then decided not to take any chances, I guess, and they flew away.
     
  20. Jayfdee

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    I usually fly very slowly 7-10 mph, and 70-80 ft altitude. I am interested in filming hence the slow speed and low altitude.