Future Tense

Watch This Hawk Smack a Drone Down

Drone strikes are no joke, but for the quadcopter in the video above, the bigger concern is hawk strikes.

Christopher Schmidt was flying his Phantom FC40 quadcopter on Wednesday over Magazine Beach Park in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when a hawk went in for the kill. Schmidt says he doesn’t think the hawk was hurt, and he immediately started maneuvering the drone away so its blades wouldn’t hit the bird.

Amazingly, after falling from the sky, Schmidt reports that the quadcopter wasn’t harmed, either. But as more drones take to the skies, these encounters could become more problematic. Accidents involving birds are already an issue in many divisions of aeronautics, and the problem with small drones is that territorial birds like hawks chase them down to defend their, um, air turf. As you can see in the video, these aren’t just accidental collisions.

Between the uptick in quadcopter use and those huge solar arrays in California that are cooking birds midflight, 2014 is unfortunately shaping up to be pretty anti-bird.