Over the last 10-15 years birds have had to share the skies at an increasing rate! As more people experiment with drones as well as use them for more than recreational use, these unmanned ariel vehicles (UAV) will have an impact on birds. Here are a few questions we should all ask ourselves.
Will this be positive or negative? Well, what happens when the birds fight back or more importantly become trained and used to control the use of drones in certain areas? Is this fair?
Drones have been used for military applications for many years, but in recent years smaller, lighter, more affordable designs have made drones more popular for commercial and recreational use. Even in the industry of Wildlife Management we use them to harass geese and certain waterfowl species. Depending on the style, drones may be used for surveillance, inspections, surveys, photography, videos, and other applications. Drones are being used more frequently in firefighting, search and rescue and other tasks as well. Hobbyists are experimenting more frequently with drones, and as more of these vehicles take to the skies, birds may be at risk from improper drone use. Simply put drones are awesome, they are fun and have changed the way we do things.
NEGATIVE IMPACTS: The use of drones irresponsibly can cause harm to birds. Here are a few examples.
THE BIRDS FIGHT BACK: In 2014 the Federal Aviation Authority reported an increase in drones spotted near other aircraft, raising fears that an errant drone may imperil a manned airplane. But drones do not just pose a risk to human-made aircraft. Due to the increased “traffic in the sky” and the improper use of drone’s action was taken in a different way, Falconry!
The hottest new trend in the world of falconry is the use of Raptors to attack against drones! This ancient practice which when you think about it is freaking awesome to train a Raptor to hunt or harass wildlife and then return to your arm! Awesome. However, in recent years birds of prey have proven amazingly effective and attractive among law enforcement agencies for swarms of increasingly bad practices by drones. They are wiping out the skies basically. But is this really a fair fight? I mean imagine a bald eagle trained by the military to take down a drone. I know where I am placing my bet!
It is even reported that some hotels are employing falconry companies to fight off paparazzi drones! Yes, you heard that correctly. Hotels and other venues have been hiring trained birds of preys to attack drones used by the paparazzi trying to sneak a peak through a window or capture a private wedding ceremony. Even Kanye West had plans to import eagles to protect his home from drones flying overhead.
This method clearly works but is it safe for the birds? Is it fair for drone owners? Is there a long-lasting negative effect? I guess the only thing we can agree on is this debate and this battle is not going anywhere anytime soon.
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