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Flying birds and drone safety

Fat Pappy

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Google eagle versus drone. Sparrows aren’t going to give you problems. But raptors might. I was flying pretty high today when a flock of geese came by. I gave way. Not sure they would do anything, but why bother to find out?
 

spudster

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Only had my Mini 2 a couple weeks. One of my first flights a Grackle dove at it. I seen it coming so dropped altitude as quickly as possible. Was about 20' foot above the ground by the time to got to it and flew away without touching it. Got to within 3" I would say.
 
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BigAl07

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Can a flying bird take away your flying drone or is harmful in any way? This is more related to the tiny weightless Mini 2.


First off WELCOME to the forum :) Glad to have you on board


It depends on the size of the aircraft, size of the bird, and probably most importantly the MOTIVATION of the bird. If you're flying near a nesting area almost any bird can get overly aggressive/territorial. In that situation even a bird that normally wouldn't go after your UAS is likely to approach it in a very aggressive way. In certain instances even the smallest of birds (really any animal) will defend against a foe of almost any size. Ironically I have a "Bird to Drone" story.

I was flying at an airport and had approval to only fly at 100' or less so I set my Max Height to 100' in the App. As I'm flying next to some 70' tall pine trees shooting images for a client, a large CROW comes down and is literally harassing my Mavic Platinum very intently. Every time before when a bird was "aggressive" I would just CLIMB and CLIMB until the bird would just go away. This time I was climbing and hit the "100' Ceiling" and couldn't "quickly/easily" go higher. All I could do was try to get the aircraft back near ME as quickly as possible but it was a fair distance away. As I'm tryin to get it back to me I apparently flew over a nest area for a couple of small birds (lets say sparrows for size comparisons). All of a sudden (2) sparrows come flying up from the trees and for whatever reason they zeroed in on the CROW (ignoring the Mavic) and they chased it away. Last time I saw them the crow was doing it's best to climb and get away but the two SPARROWS were diving in and out until it was almost out of site.

There have been a few instances of groups training Eagles to search out and attack UAS. This was an interesting Counter-UAS initiative but once they realized some of the larger/stronger UAS could post a significant INJURY potential to the "landing gear" of the birds I believe the idea was scrapped IIRC.
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THE CYBORG

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Hi kashifs Welcome to Mavic Pilots.
Short answer YES birds can kill a drone.
The best way to get away from inquisitive birds is as Yogi053 says - climb as fast as you can, apparently you can climb faster than the birds but they can dive a lot faster than you so the safest way is up.
 
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TMU Gateway

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I flew my MA2 over several flocks of Canadian geese this particular morning, they didn’t give me a second look. I have had smaller birds take a keen interest in it but not aggressively.
 
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dave canada

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my mavic pro did a mid air roll and wasn,t going down so i restarted the motors and and regained control not sure i could blame this on anything but a bird of prey it was to high for hitting something and when the engines restarted the drone recovered like nothing at all had happen
 
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cgmaxed

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my mavic pro did a mid air roll and wasn,t going down so i restarted the motors and and regained control not sure i could blame this on anything but a bird of prey it was to high for hitting something and when the engines restarted the drone recovered like nothing at all had happen
Interesting. But as I said, you didn't get knocked out of the sky. You recovered. But yeah, I'm sure and angry larger bird could, knock a drone around a bit. I just doubt they could fully disable one.
 
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dave canada

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Interesting. But as I said, you didn't get knocked out of the sky. You recovered. But yeah, I'm sure and angry larger bird could, knock a drone around a bit. I just doubt they could fully disable one.
absolutely not your right the pro wouldn,t have restarted until it was up right and they don,t do that all alone i had footage of the pro again cropping a pine limb and the props stoped when it turned over but it was rolled on the way down and it did recover hovered a sec and then finished the mission sadly the footage is on a crashed hard drive
 
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cgmaxed

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absolutely not your right the pro wouldn,t have restarted until it was up right and they don,t do that all alone i had footage of the pro again cropping a pine limb and the props stoped when it turned over but it was rolled on the way down and it did recover hovered a sec and then finished the mission sadly the footage is on a crashed hard drive
That reminds me. I was recording a trespasser in my neighbor's yard with my mav 2 pro. He hit it with a broom handle or something. It went flying across the lawn about 10 ft. I cranked the altitude stick up and it proceeded to hover above the lawn. Pretty flight worthy things. It's hard to knock them out of the sky. Unfortunately, the trespassers got away. Looks like I was flying too low. The trespassers snuck up behind the drone.
 
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Droniac

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Power up when around them and you will be fine in most cases. I have a mini and a Air2 and fly around small red tails all the time (they come around when im up in the sky) and just go up.

Had a new drone and did a little cruising with them recently.

Very cool. That must have been a hoot to watch afterward. Godspeed
 

Meta4

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The best way to get away from inquisitive birds is as Yogi053 says - climb as fast as you can, apparently you can climb faster than the birds but they can dive a lot faster than you so the safest way is up.
Climbing to evade a determined bird is a short term strategy.
The downside is that it puts you in a position where you will have to descend (slowly) for even longer.
 

Fat Bastard

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Power up when around them and you will be fine in most cases. I have a mini and a Air2 and fly around small red tails all the time (they come around when im up in the sky) and just go up.

Had a new drone and did a little cruising with them recently.

Please don't do this. This is harassment. Red-tailed hawks are federally protected.
 

neggy

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Birds of Prey will certainly challenge your sUAV if they feel their territory is encroached upon

This is why it is LEGAL to go above 400' AGL to get away from a bird attacking your sUAV, and why I do not have the hard limit for AGL set to 400, I normally have it set to 600' +.

The reasoning is a bird attacking your sUAV is more likely to break off a chase when you are CLIMBING, when you are diving your sUAV is assumed by the bird to be a weaker vulnerable prey.

I fly in Florida quite a bit and I have Eagles all around me, as well as other hunters.... so far I have been lucky but I am always looking for them as I fly