Dutch Police Turn to Raptors to Combat Drones

As unmanned aerial drones become more and more prevalent in the skies, governments all over the world are figuring out ways to regulate and ultimately combat illegal flying.

One Dutch police agency has turned to a company named Guard From Above, which trains bald eagles and other raptors to take down drones from the sky. 

How the birds avoid getting hit by the rotors is something spectacular. Geoff LeBaron, of the National Audobon Society told The Guardian that the birds have such good eye sight that they can likely see the rotors spinning, rather than a blur as humans perceive them. 

“Their method of attack is always going to be to hit it in the middle of the back; with the drones they perceive the rotors on the side and so they just go for the rear,” he told the website.

The Dutch company working with police has been training its raptors to take out drones for the past few years. Founder Sjoerd Hoogendoorn says the company is the first to sue birds of prey for this purpose. 

“For years, the government has been looking for ways to counter the undesirable use of drones,” he said in a press release. Sometimes a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem is more obvious than it seems.”

He says the raptors are logically threatened by drones and so training them to attack is part of their natural instinct. To prove the point, in a video that surfaced last year, two eagles attack a drone in the wild. 

Beginning this year the US government requires all recreational drones be registered with the FAA. Last year a drone shut down fire rescue operations because it was interfering with helicopters. 

Photo credit: Youtube