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JoostGT3

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So the other day I was flying with my Mavic Pro over the river near my hometown.
Just cruisin', as the weather was quite ok for the first time in days, but nothing special to film.

I spotted a bird in the distance, and tried to get a bit closer, but I could have never dreamt of how the footage would turn out!

I hope you'll enjoy the film just as much as I did! Definitely made my day!
 
Wow...!!! what a beautiful capture. You did an amazing job with your drone/gimbal.

Thanks mate! Gotta admit a fair bit of luck was involved! But you can imagine my enthusiasm when I got home and saw that the bird was actually in focus :)
 
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You were lucky twice:
1st for your drone not being attacked,
2nd for getting a great shot. Wow!
 
One way to possibly evade an attacking bird, would be to increase your altitude quickly, and fly straight up.
Birds can quickly change lateral direction, or dive, but increasing altitude quickly is a more difficult maneuver, and they cannot go directly upward, like a quad is able to do.
 
One way to possibly evade an attacking bird, would be to increase your altitude quickly, and fly straight up.
Birds can quickly change lateral direction, or dive, but increasing altitude quickly is a more difficult maneuver, and they cannot go directly upward, like a quad is able to do.
That's right! Up full throttle is the only escape. Also for sea birds. Swallows can follow you whatever you do though. And they are persistent little heros. (willing to sacrifice themselves just to save the nest). Only if you show you are not a threat by getting the **** out of there, they leave you in peace.
 
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That bird has a better gimbal.
Hahaha that made me laugh out loud, so true! I've seen this a lot with the seagulls that sometimes fly around my appartment, but didn't know buzzards could look around like that as well.
 
You were lucky twice:
1st for your drone not being attacked,
2nd for getting a great shot. Wow!
Definitely!
I think my luck was that it hadn't seen me yet, it was clearly surprised and performed an evasive manoeuvre. It may have been thrown off guard as well by me hanging almost still in the air, which must have appeared weird to it. I didn't know where it went, but my guess is that it took a nosedive to the right... it didn't attack me at least. :)
 
One way to possibly evade an attacking bird, would be to increase your altitude quickly, and fly straight up.
Birds can quickly change lateral direction, or dive, but increasing altitude quickly is a more difficult maneuver, and they cannot go directly upward, like a quad is able to do.
True. In this case, there really wasn't an attack taking place; it was obviously thermalling a bit (the flying in large circles, trying to pick up lift). Behavior which I was surprised to see over a river anyway. When you look closely, you see that it is just following the microthermals, turns and is completely surprised to see my Mavic there. After that, I didn't find it anymore. I turned around and continued course to where I was located, flying backwards. Anyway, I was so stoked when the Mavic returned to me! :)
 
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That's right! Up full throttle is the only escape. Also for sea birds. Swallows can follow you whatever you do though. And they are persistent little heros. (willing to sacrifice themselves just to save the nest). Only if you show you are not a threat by getting the **** out of there, they leave you in peace.
Yeah, swallows come scaringly close sometimes. I try not to deliberately disturb birds at their nests, but on one occasion, swallows were also circling my Mavic when I was just flying over a field far away from any nests... I was probably messing with their food :p
 
I mainly have trouble with pigeons. Not exactly birds of prey - ha. Had one come up from behind and hit my Mavic but was able to recover.

If I had had seen what the OP saw I would have been in Sport Mode in about 2 seconds and been gone.
 
The bird is a western Red-tailed Hawk, a very common raptor (bird of prey) in USA where Turkey Vultures are erroneously referred to as buzzards. Raptors show an affinity to drones and will attack them. Indeed, Golden Eagles, wearing Kevlar mittens to protect their talons from the drones props have been trained to take down drones in high security situations Red tails and Osprey have checked out my drone and two Merlins (small pugnacious falcons) have made close flybys. In any case we (drone pilots) have entered their air space. Whenever I see birds interacting with my drone in any way I land it. Wildlife should not be harassed in any way by a drone and certainly should not be followed to get a better look. Respect for wildlife is the right and legal thing to do.
 
Wow, great footage of a large Red Tail! You're fortunate to just get the stink-eye from your new friend. They're pretty common near Kentucky lakes and rivers. I've had a couple close encounters, most recently at Cumberland Falls last October. Gotta' admit, I've never pursued one like that.

^ Kevlar mittens o_O
 
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I seen a big hawk circling around near when I flew the other day. I stayed away from him, and prepared get out of there if he came around.
 
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I mainly have trouble with pigeons. Not exactly birds of prey - ha. Had one come up from behind and hit my Mavic but was able to recover.

If I had had seen what the OP saw I would have been in Sport Mode in about 2 seconds and been gone.

Haha pigeons are different though... they flock, and often not willing to evade you. Also, because they circle when they orient themselves, chances are that when they miss you during the first encounter, they will come back and hit you on the second time!

To be honest, I was mightily excited by this encounter, checked whether I could still find it after this, and then decided to retreat... either I scared the bird, and I wouldn't want to scare it more, or I had antagonized it, and then I wouldn't want it to attack my Mavic...
 
The bird is a western Red-tailed Hawk, a very common raptor (bird of prey) in USA where Turkey Vultures are erroneously referred to as buzzards. Raptors show an affinity to drones and will attack them. Indeed, Golden Eagles, wearing Kevlar mittens to protect their talons from the drones props have been trained to take down drones in high security situations Red tails and Osprey have checked out my drone and two Merlins (small pugnacious falcons) have made close flybys. In any case we (drone pilots) have entered their air space. Whenever I see birds interacting with my drone in any way I land it. Wildlife should not be harassed in any way by a drone and certainly should not be followed to get a better look. Respect for wildlife is the right and legal thing to do.

In the Netherlands, there are no red tails. The only hawk we have is a "Accipiter gentilis", which this definitely wasn't. Here, a buzzard is the Buteo buteo, which it definitely was :)

On your second point; yes, I realize I probably should have left it alone. Lesson learned, happy we both got away unhurt!
 
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Oh, btw, the experiment with the eagles with the kevlar mittens was in the Netherlands. They have been deployed at a number of occasions that were considered potential terrorist targets. The experiment has been stopped though, because there were not enough deployments to make it worthwhile (allegedly). My guess; law enforcement already has a different way to deal with drones if necessary...
 
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