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Mavic Air and birds

mijac

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Hello!

Usually the spots where I fly are also natural habitats of those lovely creatures called "birds". A few times while flying (and by no means harassing them) in the sea shore, cliffs, light houses, etc. those birds seem to dislike the drone and fly quite close around it, even to the point of being detected by the sensors.
Again, I am not chasing them and I avoid nesting areas or get close to them. Still, I usually get quite scared, specially if flying over water and most of the occasions I prefer to land and call it a day.

Is this bird behaviour "expected"? Is there any risk of birds actively attacking the drone? Or should I just be relaxed about the close encounters?
 

martinbanshee

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I’ve seen a few instances of birds attacking drones, even carrying them away, don’t think it’s that common though.
I am always aware of them but try and keep some distance. If I was concerned about any particular bird I’d find another spot.
 
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CanadaDrone

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I've had birds dive bomb my drone before, there were probably nests in the area. I just flew out of there ASAP - I don't want to hurt any wildlife (I imagine the props would do a number on them) and I don't want to lose my drone. Apparently the color red is best for avoiding birds but I don't have anything to support that (mine is white).

There are lots of videos on YouTube with birds contacting drones. I think it's best practice to just stay clear of them. If you fly in an area with birds, you accept the risks - it only takes one. Lots of birds are curious, and they will defend their territory and their nesting areas.
 
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Astom22

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In my experience, it's a time of year issue too. Birds can be more aggressive in some of the areas I fly in spring and early summer. It's starting to wane now and I'm glad for that.

I'm with you, they make me nervous with the Mavic Air. I would be terrified if I was over water and being harassed.
 
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Mossiback

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Is this bird behaviour "expected"? Is there any risk of birds actively attacking the drone? Or should I just be relaxed about the close encounters?
Yes, yes, and no.

Aggressive bird behavior is more common during mating and nesting seasons but can happen at any time. Some have reported less "attack behavior" by changing the appearance of their Mavic by applying a different colored or patterned skin.
 
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Q24H

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I've heard eyes of predators (i.e. cats) scares off birds, so maybe a sticker or two would do the trick?

I was also wondering if adding stripes or colors to the props would do anything to deter them?
 
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Prismatic

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I've heard eyes of predators (i.e. cats) scares off birds, so maybe a sticker or two would do the trick? I was also wondering if adding stripes or colors to the props would do anything to deter them?
I think a couple of eye spots would be good. My MA is white, so they'd be obvious.
Also, some birds at least are spooked by sparkling light: often vineyards/orchards/gardeners use mylar ribbons as scarecrows. Maybe a holographic emblem of some kind?
 
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charlas

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While I was in Spain the seagulls where a nightmare, sports mode outruns em though :) however I was fairly careful when they started to 'gang up' on the drone and got it down. A right PITA, but hey they where here first after all. I mention it in fact in my travelling with drone VLOG

 
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OldBlueHeron

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It's gonna happen, especially during nesting season. Just remember to be careful and recognize it was their skies first.
 

Prismatic

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I believe your best bird-avoidance maneuver is to stop any horizontal movement and apply maximum throttle. In the avian view, nothing can fly straight-up. To a bird, vertical flight is impossible, disorienting, and scary. This move also forces an aggressive bird to make an “unnatural” (and probably momentum-sapping) correction to maintain an intercept course on a fast-rising target.

But you may not see an attacking bird when your drone is out at some distance. That’s when you hope the stick-on googly eyes bluff el-Birdo into breaking off its attack. Gotta have the googly eyes. :confused:
:)
 
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erwol

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There must be a connection between the sound the air produces and the birds being attracted as when flying with a friend who owns a pro platinum, it was easy to see the favourite aircraft of the birds that were harassing us
 

Prismatic

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There must be a connection between the sound the air produces and the birds being attracted as when flying with a friend who owns a pro platinum, it was easy to see the favourite aircraft of the birds that were harassing us
Interesting! So the MA is a (mature, fully-feathered) chick magnet!
 
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Astom22

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You should see how angry an fpv racing drone makes them.


The barn swallows have a deep hate for mine.
There must be a connection between the sound the air produces and the birds being attracted as when flying with a friend who owns a pro platinum, it was easy to see the favourite aircraft of the birds that were harassing us
 
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erwol

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Interesting! So the MA is a (mature, fully-feathered) chick magnet!
Yeah I think it's that polished back it has... Fortunately it's only calling little birds... For now. Don't want to see my Air grabbed by an Eagle like this
 

JDawg

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Wherever I have flown my Air has attracted Hummingbirds. We have lots of Blue Jays, Crows, Hawks, Robins etc in our area but the Hummingbirds always make an appearance when I send the Air up.

FWIW I have wanted to go up and shadow the Crows when they are harassing the Redtails but I imagine that would result in Mavic Air down.
 
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Samphotom

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I believe your best bird-avoidance maneuver is to stop any horizontal movement and apply maximum throttle. In the avian view, nothing can fly straight-up. To a bird, vertical flight is impossible, disorienting, and scary. This move also forces an aggressive bird to make an “unnatural” (and probably momentum-sapping) correction to maintain an intercept course on a fast-rising target.

But you may not see an attacking bird when your drone is out at some distance. That’s when you hope the stick-on googly eyes bluff el-Birdo into breaking off its attack. Gotta have the googly eyes. :confused:
:)
You are exactly right, I straight up climb will get them to leave almost every time. I've had great success with it.
 

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