Birds of Prey

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Over the past several weeks I have had birds show interest in my UAS. Buzzards seem curious but keep their distance. However, several bald eagles over the past weeks seem more interested and I'm cautious to keep my distance; and in one case I did a precautionary landing as it looked like an attack might occur. My missions focus me on buildings as such and not wildlife or tree lines. Does anyone have reports of birds of prey attacking drones?
 
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Have a look on YouTube .Mostly birds of prey ,also large UK sea gulls can be aggressive as well apparently
 
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I also wind up with Buzzards, Bald and Golden Eagles showing up and circling but I've had the smaller Hawks actually appear to attack but veer off at the last moment.

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PDM

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I had a Redtail Hawk swoop in aggressively several times, but it never made contact with my drone.
 
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I fly with birds on an almost daily basis here in Scotland......all good no incidents. Here are a few examples :)

 
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The herons around here are definitely drone intolerant! As soon as they see it they do an afterburner takeoff. And they can see well. What I do is zip in from the other side of the house, zoom down to the ponds about 200 ft away and try to video them flying away. It's very difficult, watching the heron, watching my P4 and watching the screen, avoiding trees, and flying ... or trying to. Once I crashed into the top of a tree chasing one, but my P4 miraculously survived unharmed. And buzzards? If you get too close they do a nose dive. At 300 ft it is nearly impossible to get behind one so I can follow it via the screen - extremely difficult at that altitude to match altitudes. I have one frame with a buzzard in it, but I'll keep trying. (Been flying my P4 since June, and RC planes & helicopters for years before that, so I'm not a total klutz at the controls.) When I flew ultralights there were several times I could fly formation with geese and once with a hawk (at 100ft or so). With a drone it's much harder.
 
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The herons around here are definitely drone intolerant! As soon as they see it they do an afterburner takeoff. And they can see well. What I do is zip in from the other side of the house, zoom down to the ponds about 200 ft away and try to video them flying away. It's very difficult, watching the heron, watching my P4 and watching the screen, avoiding trees, and flying ... or trying to. Once I crashed into the top of a tree chasing one, but my P4 miraculously survived unharmed. And buzzards? If you get too close they do a nose dive. At 300 ft it is nearly impossible to get behind one so I can follow it via the screen - extremely difficult at that altitude to match altitudes. I have one frame with a buzzard in it, but I'll keep trying. (Been flying my P4 since June, and RC planes & helicopters for years before that, so I'm not a total klutz at the controls.) When I flew ultralights there were several times I could fly formation with geese and once with a hawk (at 100ft or so). With a drone it's much harder.
Yeah it's taken me about three years of flying in this area to gain the trust of these birds. I find if you frequent an area populated by birds a good technique I find is to make a few visits where you fly nice and slow with no sudden direction changes and lots of slow hovering. I gradually allow the craft to drift closer on successive visits. I'm making it sound easier than it is......but with a lot of patience the pay-off can be worth it.

Here's me flying with a buzzard a few weeks ago.

 
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That's how I ended up with my P4. A hawk attacked my Q500 and it dropped from 75 feet. Got tired of intermittent connection from wireless connection anyways so I bought the DJI bird. I'm glad it happened. I've repaired the Q, but I only fly the P4 and and P3s now.


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Yeah it's taken me about three years of flying in this area to gain the trust of these birds. I find if you frequent an area populated by birds a good technique I find is to make a few visits where you fly nice and slow with no sudden direction changes and lots of slow hovering. I gradually allow the craft to drift closer on successive visits. I'm making it sound easier than it is......but with a lot of patience the pay-off can be worth it.

Here's me flying with a buzzard a few weeks ago.

That was good. Wish I could catch one on the ground rather than at 300 ft.
 
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A month ago or so, I was flying my P4 in circles while I figured something out in the app and not really paying attention to the drone. When I looked up, 6 or 7 hawks had joined my P4. I think they were migrating, saw the drone circling and thought, "hey, there's a thermal....". Pretty sure they weren't impressed having wasted time, effort and altitude on a red herring.... I also paraglide and frequently fly with birds. I use them to spot thermals and they do the same with me. One time in Brazil, within 5 minutes of starting to work a thermal, 30 to 40 urubus (Brazilian vulture) had joined me.
 

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