Wedge-tailed Eagles vs. Drones – Who Do You Think Wins?

by planetMitch6 Comments

So everyone's buying a drone these days (but me LOL, I'm still droneless) but we also keep reading about the battle for the skies – and now it seems we're battling not only man, but nature!

I still have plenty of concerns about the future of drones… while things like filmmaking and TV news reporting and police/medical rescue use seem to make a lot of sense, I'm still bothered by the prospect of Amazon (and others) saying they're potentially going to start delivering packages with drones. I mean really, do we need birds knocking packages out of the sky? And what if that package hits someone in the head or causes car crashes etc.?

Time will tell but what do you think will be our future?

Is there a joke in there somewhere about wedgies? HA!

Wedge-tailed eagles do battle with mining giant's drones, knocking nine out of sky


Via ABC:

Ten UAVs have been lost since South Africa's Gold Fields, the world's seventh-biggest gold producer, began operating the Trimble UX5 systems at its St Ives operations near Kambalda.

The original video

And what happened after:


One crashed as a result of human error, while nine have been taken down by wedge-tailed eagles, which are known to have wingspans more than twice that of the 1-metre-wide UAVs.

The UAVs are constructed from foam and carbon fibre, and fly at an altitude of about 125 metres, reaching speeds of up to 92km/h.

Razor-sharp talons have turned the wedge-tailed eagles into what St Ives Mine surveyor Rick Steven calls “the natural enemy of the UAV”.

Read full article at ABC “Wedge-tailed eagles do battle with mining giant's drones, knocking nine out of sky”

Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from source in post)


  1. This is a good example of drone growing pains. They discovered a conflict between wildlife and drones. The pilots changed their behavior to remove the conflict, and now everything moves forward peacefully.

    We’ll see that pattern repeat in other areas: drone deliveries, drone security systems, etc. It’ll all be OK once people get over the fear of the new.

    BTW, you totally need a drone. It’s a camera that can fly. How can you make the conscious choice to limit your shooting to only where your arms can reach?

    1. Would love to have a drone, I’m a professional I have been quoted $2,000
      by one of the few insurers here in Canada willing to touch them.
      Madness to shoot without insurance .
      Cheers, ColinKiwi

  2. It’s not only large birds-of-prey that may go after drones. I was trying to get video of an old drawbridge that crossed over a narrow stretch of a large lake in this area. Every time I launched my Inspire 1, dozens of small birds, Starlings maybe, flew all around the I1. They came out from under the bridge and from the thick shoreline growth, I assume their nesting area but even when I launched the drone much further away, they still came after it. I was worried about our drone but equally worried about killing some small birds since the rotors on an I1 could easily do that. I did manage to get a few nice aerial photographs of the historic bridge but there are many birds in the photos.

    I agree with Tony, you must get a drone for aerial photo work Mitch. Start with the DJI Mavic. If you get good at flying that and really want stunning aerial photos, step up to an Inspire 2 with the X5 series camera. We have a professional photographer who works with us regularly and does really great work but I’ve shown clients just one photo I’ve done with the drone and they are way more excited than they are with all the beautiful land based photos our pro shoots!

  3. As far as I concern, In the Netherland, the police or the authorities trained the eagles to take down the illegal drone. But, in the eye of the nature, or the instinct from the eagles itself, it usually will hunt for food and find anything that it could capture on the sky. So when the nature react, we could not do anything, unless, manufacturer could produce advance technology, maybe camouflage? I think it is too advance and only capable in sci-fi movie

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