Seek and Destroy: Eagles exterminate drones

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That is a bald eagle taking out a drone in mid-flight.

Dutch police have joined forces with Guard From Above, a raptor-training security firm based in The Hague, Netherlands to train bald eagles to rain unholy death upon unwanted drones.

Guard From Above’s chief executive officer Sjoerd Hoogendoorn described the project in a press release as “a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem”.

Geoff LeBaron, the director of the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, a crowdsourced wildlife census that tracks US bird populations, said birds are in many cases demonstrating that they have superior onboard equipment to the drones.

“What I find fascinating is that birds can hit the drone in such a way that they don’t get injured by the rotors,” said LeBaron. “They seem to be whacking the drone right in the centre so they don’t get hit; they have incredible visual acuity and they can probably actually see the rotors.”

The drones are often seen as invasive by native birds. “The drones are pretty much the size of a bird of prey, so smaller birds on the ground aren’t likely to mob a bird of prey when it’s flying – but larger birds are, especially when it’s around their nests,” said LeBaron, who’d seen the behavior in barnacle geese as well as raptors like ospreys. “The birds of prey are having an aggressive interaction to defend their territory from another bird of prey.”

Even more impressive is how the birds can not only take down the drone, but retrieve it as well.

Witness the aerial carnage in motion…

 

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