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Seagulls Killed my Mavic Pro :(

mryeje

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So I was taking pictures on the edge of a salt water river and a seagull attacked the drone and eventually brought it down to the water. Never thought they were stone cold killers.
 
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ChrisW81

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Mine, mine, mine...

I have heard some put vinyl eyes and beak of a predator bird on drones to deter this sort of thing.
 

macoman

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Probably there is a nest close to where you was flying. Bird attacks usually happens because they are defending their nest.
 
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Aerial-Pixel

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Oh no! I'm so sorry for your loss! I've had similar near attacks from birds but they were never brave enough to actually hit it.
 

mryeje

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I was doing a hyperlapse and it was flying only 3 km/h, I didnt have a chance to get away. I'd flown at that location 6 or 7 times and they never cared.
 

FlyGuy8675309

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I've been experimenting with blue strobes after reading this article: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/04/blue-lights-could-prevent-bird-strikes They seem to be keeping the swallows at bay that were getting aggressive during my dusk flights.

Not sure how well they work during the day -- in bright sunlight blue doesn't show up too well to my eyes, but maybe the birds can see it?
 

ChrisW81

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I've been experimenting with blue strobes after reading this article: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/04/blue-lights-could-prevent-bird-strikes They seem to be keeping the swallows at bay that were getting aggressive during my dusk flights.

Not sure how well they work during the day -- in bright sunlight blue doesn't show up too well to my eyes, but maybe the birds can see it?

Do you have any plans on flying during daylight hours to test the effectiveness?
 

ChrisW81

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I do. I have some more lights on order (for daytime you need to cover a lot more area to be visible). We'll see!

Awesome. Very interested in what you find out. I’m in SWFlorida and there’s a lot of birds here. Have had a few close calls but nothing dramatic; fingers crossed.
 

lisadoc

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I've been experimenting with blue strobes after reading this article: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/04/blue-lights-could-prevent-bird-strikes They seem to be keeping the swallows at bay that were getting aggressive during my dusk flights.

Not sure how well they work during the day -- in bright sunlight blue doesn't show up too well to my eyes, but maybe the birds can see it?

The experiment was based on a totally different theory than what you are wanting to use it for. The research work was conducted to see if we could give birds more warning of an oncoming aircraft. Bird strikes occur not because birds are attacking 767's but rather because jet planes travel at such speeds that birds don't have time to notice it and move out of the way. It has nothing to do with "frightening" birds as a way to keep birds away from airplanes. Just trying to make them (aircraft) more conspicuous and lengthen the time they (birds) have to take evasive action.

I doubt that you're flying your Mavic at such speeds that you're striking birds before they can maneuver out of the way. There is little sound scientific evidence that lights or any particular colored lights are effective at scaring birds away, though Airbus claims they have some magic formula for this (color combination, flash rate, etc.) and they refuse to share the science on it with others so it can be peer reviewed. I highly doubt it is valid (as do most others in the scientific community) but until they share their "trade secret", it will remain an unproven anecdotal claim.
 

FlyGuy8675309

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The experiment was based on a totally different theory than what you are wanting to use it for. The research work was conducted to see if we could give birds more warning of an oncoming aircraft. Bird strikes occur not because birds are attacking 767's but rather because jet planes travel at such speeds that birds don't have time to notice it and move out of the way. It has nothing to do with "frightening" birds as a way to keep birds away from airplanes. Just trying to make them (aircraft) more conspicuous and lengthen the time they (birds) have to take evasive action.

I doubt that you're flying your Mavic at such speeds that you're striking birds before they can maneuver out of the way. There is little sound scientific evidence that lights or any particular colored lights are effective at scaring birds away, though Airbus claims they have some magic formula for this (color combination, flash rate, etc.) and they refuse to share the science on it with others so it can be peer reviewed. I highly doubt it is valid (as do most others in the scientific community) but until they share their "trade secret", it will remain an unproven anecdotal claim.

Thanks for all that. Sounds like this is a great area to experiment and do some research in.
 
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lisadoc

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Thanks for all that. Sounds like this is a great area to experiment and do some research in.

The "scaring" concept has been well researched (and come up empty). The "making things conspicuous" concept... not so much. That's why this study was interesting, though far from being very conclusive or compelling.

Interestingly, there's also a study that examined bird strike data and concludes that green navigation lights on aircraft are actually a bit more (statistically speaking) conspicuous to birds than red navigation lights (and, unexpectedly, more so during the day, and not as much at night) - because more bird strikes occur to the engines on the left side of aircraft than on the right. I'm not sure I completely agree with the conclusion (due to the fact that the FAA national wildlife strike database is an imperfect and biased data set on its own), but it is certainly something interesting/intriguing to ponder.

You can read the full study here:
https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1396&context=hwi
 

mryeje

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I've been experimenting with blue strobes after reading this article: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/04/blue-lights-could-prevent-bird-strikes They seem to be keeping the swallows at bay that were getting aggressive during my dusk flights.

Not sure how well they work during the day -- in bright sunlight blue doesn't show up too well to my eyes, but maybe the birds can see it?
Maybe something to try. If i buy another drone maybe Mavic Air, I'm going to be looking for solutions.
 

mryeje

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For anyone thats interested, i dont have footage because I was taking pictures. Here is a video I took last year from the same location, you can see the water and the reason that I wont be able to recover.
 
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Now there is no concrete evidence but in my experience birds have completely avoided my mavic I think in part to a bright lime green skin on it as opposed to the grey which could be confused for a bird based on the color.
 

mryeje

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Now there is no concrete evidence but in my experience birds have completely avoided my mavic I think in part to a bright lime green skin on it as opposed to the grey which could be confused for a bird based on the color.
I had a bright yellow skin during the attack, I never had seagulls pay any attention to it as evident above. I might try the eyes on my next drone. It was approached by an eagle when it was still grey....-->
@49 seconds
 

ScubaBob

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So I was taking pictures on the edge of a salt water river and a seagull attacked the drone and eventually brought it down to the water. Never thought they were stone cold killers.
I have a friend down here (Cancun) who was filming some surfers about 100 meters from shore and about 3 meters above the water. A frigate (the bird) must have thought the drone was something to eat because we saw it do a dive bomber attack from about 20 meters up and whack the drone knocking it into the water. The drone was gone forever. So the lesson that was learned by those of us watching was watch out for birds, especially during their feed times (mornings and late afternoons.)
 

jmitteco

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So I was taking pictures on the edge of a salt water river and a seagull attacked the drone and eventually brought it down to the water. Never thought they were stone cold killers.

I fly over the Caribbean Sea on a regular basis & have had lots of bird encounters.
Seagulls & birds of prey seem to be the worst.
I suggest flying straight up if you see a bird swooping in.
This scares them off.
If you go down, the sense that you are afraid of them & their instinct is to attack.
I've practiced this a lot & it's worked for me every time.
They may come back for a second look after you fly up the first time. I just repeat & fly straight up again. That usually does the trick.
Just my 2 cents.
 

Ricapoody

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I have noticed that birds show little interest until I reach treet top level or above. Then they seem to come out in numbers. Never had one actually attack the Mavick, but they do get menacingly close. I pack up and leave. Not worth the risk.
 
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