The strange encounter occurred in Canberra, the capital of Australia. The city is in lockdown at the moment, so many people are ordering stuff online. Wing has been delivering lightweight goods via drone since 2017, and the service has been incredibly useful during the pandemic.
A man named Ben Roberts ordered his coffee via Wing and had it delivered by one of the company’s drones. But before he got his dose of caffeine, he saw the raven attacking the drone in a very aggressive manner. Ben grabbed a camera and filmed the real-life Angry Bird. It first attacked the drone with its claws, and then pecked at it with its beak. The drone went off-balance, but it managed to stay in the air, finally delivering the coffee to the customer.
Ravens are very intelligent birds, and this one apparently saw a threat in the weird, buzzing, flying machine. “What must a drone look like to them,” Ben wonders. “It would be like a flying saucer landing in our front yard to us.”
Ornithologist Neil Hermes explained why the attack had most likely occurred. Ravens will attack anything coming near their nests, they’re very territorial. “They will swoop dogs and activity around their nets, but attacking drones is new,” he added.
Although delivery drones are useful in the pandemic, residents have expressed some concerns. One of them is the noise that makes dogs “go wild” and scares children so they don’t go out to play in their backyards. Another concern is their influence on wildlife, especially after witnessing scenes like the one in the video. However, Wing claims that “no birds had been injured” during the swooping incidents. At least not that the company knows about it.
“Anecdotally we’ve heard from some customers that they’ve seen the ravens swooping at a range of objects in the area, including cyclists, pedestrians, cars, and garbage trucks,” the spokeswoman said. “In the unlikely event that a bird makes direct contact with our drone, we have multiple levels of redundancy built into our operations to ensure we can continue to fly safely.”