A bald eagle waged an attack on a drone eventually dropping it on the bottom of lake Michigan.
The pilot of the ill-fated US$ 950 drone belonged to Hunter King of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).
King was mapping shoreline erosion when the drone he was flying was attacked last month.
He had completed seven minutes of the flight when he began having reception problems. King pressed the button to recall the drone.
From his video feed, he saw the drone make its way home. Suddenly, it started careening through the air as its speed dropped from 22 mph. to 10 mph. As it plummeted, the drone’s propeller was torn off and King was bombarded with warning messages.
It didn’t take long for King to find the culprit of the attack on the $950 drone — he spotted an eagle flying from the scene of the crime.
The motive for the attack is most likely territorial dispute, hunger.
King started a search for the drone with a couple who had witnessed the aerial assault. Hours of searching the shore failed to turn up the broken drone. Days later, after getting precise data for where the drone fell 150 feet offshore in four feet of water
It seems the drone has been claimed by the waters of the Great Lake.
While the attack is unfortunate, it points to a thriving eagle population. A 2019 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey showed 849 active nesting sites in Michigan, up from a low point of 76 nesting sites in the 1970s.