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Eagle-eyed: Dutch Police to Train Birds to Take Down Unauthorised Drones

As the use of drones increasingly worries everyone from firefighters and air traffic control to law enforcement, Netherlands’ national police have aligned themselves with a group that hates flying robots on principle: the bald eagle.

Dutch police have joined forces with Guard From Above, a raptor-training security firm based in the Hague, to keep wayward drones from causing trouble by snatching them out of the sky.

Guard From Above’s chief executive officer Sjoerd Hoogendoorn described the project in a press release as “a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem”. He and the company’s chief operating officer, Ben de Keijzer, train birds of prey to catch unauthorised unmanned vehicles – Hoogendoorn’s background is in private security, de Keijzer’s is in bird-handling and training.

Birds, said the National Audubon Society’s Geoff LeBaron, are generally dubious about drones anyway as they tend to demonstrate terrible avian manners.

Often drones lose their flying privileges because local birds feel crowded. “The drones are pretty much the size of a bird of prey, so smaller birds on the ground aren’t likely to mob a bird of prey when it’s flying – but larger birds are, especially when it’s around their nests,” said LeBaron, who’d seen the behavior in barnacle geese as well as raptors like ospreys. “The birds of prey are having an aggressive interaction to defend their territory from another bird of prey.”

Read full article here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/01/dutch-netherlands-police-bi...