“I am on my 12th drone" - Mining Journal
The massive bird of prey has taken out nine UX5 drones at the St Ives Mine.
Surveyor Rick Steven said the unmanned aerial vehicles, with a wingspan of a metre, had been knocked out of the sky.
"That [wedge-tailed eagle] is my single biggest problem in the environment where I work for the UX5 … I am on my 12th [UAV]," he said according to the ABC.
"Nine out of the other 10 have been destroyed courtesy of this guy – he’s its natural enemy."
Wedge-tailed eagles (aquila audax for the ornithologists among us) have wings spans of over 2m and eat almost anything found in the outback – from lizards and rabbits up to red kangaroos.
Steven also had a likely world-first.
During an attack (or defence, if you’re an eagle) by a pair of the birds, one took control of the fixed-wing craft and aimed the camera at its comrade.
"I was flying the tailings dam out at St Ives and I was getting attacked by two eagles simultaneously," he said.
"I was trying to fly my UAV away from them and all of a sudden, at a high point, the eagle came down and sunk both its claws into the inside of the control box of the UX5.
"It turned the UX5 sideways and took a photo of the other eagle as it was coming in to attack."
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