Drone technology moves to the next level
New advances in the falconry industry see the introduction of robotic birds of prey
Advances are being made in the Bird Control industry with the creation of robotic falcons. The idea originally started in the Middle-East where robotic prey, designed to be the ultimate quarry for Arabian falconry, has been created. The first design was the Robara, based on the Houbara Bustard.
Originally designed as prey for training falcons this robotic idea has now been reversed and models developed to replicate falcons providing an additional resource in bird control, deterring nuisance birds such as corvids, pigeons and gulls.
NBC Environment are currently working with a manufacturer to develop this technology as a tool in bird management and staff are currently undergoing training and CAA certification so that Robotic falcon’s could soon be used alongside our real falcons to offer an enhanced service. There are situations, particularly in aviation, where there are restrictions for using a live falcons. Bird welfare has to be taken into consideration too and by interspersing a robotic option it gives the falcons more opportunities to rest and recover. The welfare of the birds always takes president.
They also can offer an innovative service whereby they are used to deter nuisance birds in situations where a real bird of prey is unavailable or not suitable for the site. However they do not have the same impact as a live falcon. They cannot mimic the natural behaviour as well.
The Robotic falcon brings the Drone technology to the next level, as they can not only be flown Line of Sight (LOS) but can also be flown remotely by FPV (First Person View) enabling them to be flown over greater distances and with more control making it possible to actually chase the nuisance birds away and in the direction of your choice. These machines are no toy, featuring advanced GPS technology to enable the user to pre-program flights and set weigh points and safety zones to ensure our robotic falcons only operate in authorised areas.
This is a fantastic innovation for the industry as the predator models can be used in pest control, on airfields, landfill sites, vineyards and areas of valuable crops, to chase away pest birds. Of course, the key is still held in an unrivaled understanding of bird hunting behaviour by the pilot so that nuisance birds do not become desensitised to its presence and because of this NBC are best placed to deliver these types of services safely and effectively.