Modern Pioneers Train Eagles to Prey on Drones



Golden Eagle Tony Hisgett, Birmingham UK Courtesy Wikimedia Commons


“KATWIJK, the Netherlands — Its wings beating against a gathering breeze, the eagle moves gracefully through a cloudy sky, then swoops, talons outstretched on its prey below. The target, however, is not another bird but a small drone, and when the eagle connects, there is a metallic clunk. With the device in its grasp, the bird of prey returns to the ground.”




Parrot A19.Drone Nicolas Halftermeyer Courtesy Wikimedia Commons



Eagles can bring drones safely to the ground without crashing and endangering those below. Birds of prey learn to intercept small drones. In Europe, drones have been seen near military facilities, airports, and jails where they can drop contraband.



“The man who created the project, Sjoerd Hoogendoorn, a security consultant, put it more colorfully: ‘Mostly, the most crazy ideas work the best.’ For his eagles, the reward for a successful interception is a piece of meat, and they were accomplishing their task despite the wind — which handlers say creates a bigger problem for drone operators than for birds.”

As change accelerates, technology is not always the answer.


For more on this subject, read Stephen Castle’s May 28, 2016 New York Times article: Dutch Firm Trains Eagles to Take Down High-Tech Prey: Drones.

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