Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Wildlife's response to the Phantom.

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Vision Discussion' started by Greyfox51, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Greyfox51

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Scottish Highlands
    Hi Guys,

    Yesterday evening there was a brief break in the weather, providing me with the opportunity to test the recent changes I had made, changing to Naza-M, allowing me to make use of CL and HL. I chose an area consisting of five or six very large short grass fields, providing excellent line of sight and recovery prospects. Having got a good, solid satellite lock (11) I fired up the engines of the Phantom, hovered for a moment, checking responses. I then flew out about 100 yards and flipped the switch for HL. As expected, a gentle pull on the stick brought the bird back to me regardless of orientation. Success!

    I tried it again, and it worked perfectly. Then a third time. Now having full confidence, I flew the Phantom south east, out over the flat field area, in an effort to see just how good the connection range was. At 1500 ft, with the bird now out of sight, I thought enough was enough and decided to bring the bird home using HL. It was at this point where, just for a moment or two, I slipped into a sort of momentary mental block, pulling down on the left stick for a second or two, before realizing I should be pushing it up. The result of this inadvertent action, it being recorded by the camera and viewed later, was of particular interest to me.

    I saw the Phantom had lost altitude, so pushed it back up to 150 ft and flipped the switch, initiating HL so I could bring it back home.

    That moment when it was out of sight and had lost altitude? The recorded footage revealed the unseen Phantom slowly losing height and coming into a low stable hover facing an extremely curious but perfectly relaxed red deer hind and calf standing about 40 yards distant. The Phantom hovers facing them for about sixty seconds, before lifting and slowly gaining altitude, then departing.

    I must confess, I have often wondered what deer and other Wildlife would make of the Phantom, in particular the prop noise, and the answer would appear to be they're pretty relaxed about it. I recently hovered a hundred feet above a buzzard sitting on a fence post, and it didn't phase the bird one bit. I think this result is quite important because, as far as wildlife and farm stock are concerned, a panic response to the presence of a Phantom - which certainly appears not to be the case - would be just one more thing to worry about, restricting the hobby even further.
     
  2. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    I regularly film common seals and generally they are pretty relaxed. Once they feel the prop wash some slip off the rocks into the water. 10 mins later they are back on the rocks. I don't need to get as close now with my new longer focal length 5.4mm lens however.

    Sent from Samsung S4 via Tapatalk
     
  3. 4wd

    4wd

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Messages:
    2,532
    Likes Received:
    421
    Location:
    North York Moors
    Not really been near any such large wildlife with mine, sheep don't seem much bothered unless you get quite close, cows be very careful and best avoided as they are inclined to take off in a panic.
    Horses same but more so.
     
  4. MikeON

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Whitetail deer in this part of PA tend to be spooky because of hunting. They run when the Phantom gets within about 100m, at least the 2 or 3 times I've seen them while flying. On the other hand, small hawks and hummingbirds sometimes fly close circles around it. I think they are just curious, the hawks are too small to think they are going to eat it, and obviously the same applies to the hummingbirds.
     
  5. ProfessorStein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I think all wildlife is going to react differently, and you can't make a broad blanket statement like that. It all depends on the creatures own experience, how used they are to other objects and/or noises like airplanes, traffic, etc

    The wildlife in Yellowstone, for example, get COMPLETELY spooked (see online videos)... and that is, in fact, one of the reasons we are banned from flying in National Parks in the US... just as you feared.
     
  6. YolevonALLin

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2014
    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    79
    Though not a wild animal exactly, my German Shepherd will occasionally look at the Phantom as its buzzing around the yard, but never really pays any attention to it. It's never been scared or very interested. Makes for some great big air frisbee filming at close distance safely above them.
     
  7. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    I think The Prof is right. In my early days some horses were nervous but not panicky. The same ones now don't even lift their heads. Also when I'm filming the seals I started off for several batteries worth staying well up, gradually moving closer. With this same group I can now be only 3m from them, all they do is lookup. There are many other consideration like non disturbance of birds during breeding season or even the seals in early birthing season or infact any disturbance at all if a nature reserve. Each case is different. At all times caution and even a non flying decision is the safer option.

    Sent from Samsung S4 via Tapatalk
     
  8. enterprise1

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    Seen a video just recently where a Canada goose knocked a phantom down to the ground from just a few feet up. Goose was on the ground. Pilot got a little to close. lol.

    I've watched a few coyotes and wild horses from about 100ft. up. Didn't seem to bother them at all. Coyotes were already moving but I don't think the Phantom scared them.
     
  9. Greyfox51

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Scottish Highlands
    It was meant more as a casual observation rather than a general statement of fact. And yes, I agree, individual animals will respond differently to what may be perceived by one as a threat, whilst another, as was the case with the deer, might exhibit curiosity. This is an area with a very high sheep density and they pay little attention to the Phantom. On the other hand, cattle and horses, being far more intelligent, are very easily spooked.

    We have a lot of deer here, there being four different species, and they are hunted from July through to the middle of February. Unlike the US, here in the UK we are allowed to use special vehicles to extract dead animals from otherwise unnavigable areas and the deer very quickly get to recognise the distinctive sound of the engine and react accordingly. But in spring and early summer they are far more relaxed and tolerant, approaching quite close to human habitation.

    Being a Wildlife Manager myself and having the facilities to do so, the opportunity to film using the Phantom, for example, the red deer rut during October, is something that I would very much like to attempt. Sparkling bright autumn days would provide suitable lighting conditions and the results could be very good, given a little luck.
     
  10. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    Greyfox51: That would be awesome
     
  11. enterprise1

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nv. USA
    IrishSights has the right lens (5.4mm) for observing and recording wildlife. With the stock wide angle lens you have to get so close to the critters, chances of spooking them are good. Been waiting patiently for the reasonable priced lens mod for the Vision camera.
     
  12. MikeON

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2013
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Which 5.4mm lens did you get? The Ragecams or something else?
     
  13. IrishSights

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Bangor, Northern Ireland, UK
    Yes it was ragecams, an expensive choice I made when I should have investigated a bit more. It was the equivilent of £200 GBP when I could have got the same lens from aliexpress.com for around £70 GBP including DHL shipping. Interestingly enough the IR filter can be taken off the back of the lens to get a night vision lens. Probably a future purchase!
     
  14. Happyflyer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,805
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Cold, Cold, Michigan
    Once out in the sand dunes, one higher dune blocked my vision of the lake and when my quad got close to the water a big flock of honkers popped out of the water very fast. I never would have flown near them if I had seen they were there. Got the quad back away from there fast.
     
  15. fastsmiles

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Tx
    I think piloting the phantom in a nonthreatening manner is very important in how wildlife will react also. Flying directly towards any animal in an aggresive manner could cause alarm and panic, while a gentle descent at a respectable distance or flying at an obtuse angle would be less disturbing to the animal.
    It would be nice to props that are quieter.
     
  16. Greyfox51

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Scottish Highlands
    The prop noise doesn't appear to bother deer, leastways not here. They are used to a lot of noise. This is a designated low flying exercise area for military aircraft flying north from Lossiemouth to make use of the live firing range at Tain, just fourteen miles away. The noise when the aircraft pass low overhead can be absolutely deafening. The deer just carry on grazing.

    When faced with the choice, I chose an Isaw Extreme rather than the GoPro. It is a decision I may yet come to regret, with most gimbal designs seemingly favouring the GoPro above any other camera. But I read the reviews and compared online HD videos of both the GoPro and the Isaw and thought the colour rendition of the latter was more natural and warmer. Added to that was the fact that I had primarily bought it to film salmon in the river, using the included submersible housing. I filmed migrating salmon in the Spring using the Isaw and the results were just fantastic.

    And whilst on the subject of cameras, truth be told, I'm pretty impressed with the stock FC 200. It is actually a very good camera. Maybe I was just lucky and got a good one, but once set up correctly the colour and detail is very good indeed, as good as I shall ever need.

    Now the days are shortening, there are two largish herds of wild red deer coming down to graze in the fields opposite the house most afternoons, about 500 yards distant. When the weather improves ( it is windy and wet here just now ) I shall try to get some decent aerial footage, to see how the deer respond. I don't know, but I suspect they won't be bothered in the least. If that proves successful, an attempt at filming the rut will most definitely be on the cards, along with some aerial footage of salmon spawning in the shallows. But that will most likely require an adapter and polarising filter. <sigh> Does when ever stop spending or investing in this hobby?
     
  17. ProfessorStein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    You're kidding, right? ;)
     
  18. Greyfox51

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Scottish Highlands
    I'm lost, is what I am, beyond redemption, no matter how you cut it, I'm a Phantom Junkie...
     
  19. Wedeliver

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tionesta, California
    we have two pet goats, they are really friendly and nice fun goats but i have noticed they hide when i am flying. i dont buzz them or anything but i notice they are under their shelter when i fly. i wonder why.
     
  20. general01

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    4
    My cats do the same(depending on high the phantom is)

    The dogs bark at it even when I am not close to them(odd but true)

    I also am a phantom junkie(this is my second one and no I didn't have a flyaway from the last one)