Raptor rapture: Newer DJI FPV pilot captures hawk [Updated]

DJI FPV hawk

We were over on Reddit when we came across a pretty intriguing post. A newer DJI FPV pilot captures a hawk simply by being in the right place at the right time. (No, we don’t mean he actually captured the hawk, just that he got some great footage.)

You never know what a drone flight will bring. In this case, a pilot from the Toronto area encountered a hawk while flying a DJI FPV drone. The pilot is pretty new to this field, and we can only imagine what the experience was like, based on the video posted.

Let’s take a look.

Birds of a feather…

Yes, they may well flock together, but most drone flights don’t lead to an encounter with a raptor (though we’ve seen some that do). This little bit of beauty comes to us from Redditor u/firstofmyname02. We were able to reach him, and his real name is Dan S.

Dan was flying in a popular area of uncontrolled airspace in eastern Toronto known as the Scarborough Bluffs. It features earth cliffs overlooking Lake Ontario, along with a marina. Here’s what Dan says:

My friend had recommended the Bluffs which I thought was a great idea and after some hunting, found a great lookout.

You’ll see that lookout in a moment.

DJI FPV captures hawk

Of course, that’s why we’re here. Let’s see the video. For a newer pilot, Dan did a great job of following the hawk’s orbits while maintaining a respectful distance.

FYI, the hawk pops in at about the 1:26 mark:

So what did the DJI FPV pilot think about capturing that hawk?

Though Dan has some background with RC Helis, this was just his fifth flight with the DJI FPV drone. He had only flown manual mode on two previous occasions, but had cut his teeth with a couple of weeks of simulator practice. So what was it like, seeing this hawk emerge mid-flight?

After departing and doing a couple show orbits, ensuring good signal strength and comfort with my surroundings, I turned to the bluff when I saw a large hawk emerge from behind the hill. I was mixed with fear that it might attack my drone and also that I might injure the animal. But I also felt compelled to approach and feel it out. As the bird approached,I kicked some left back and then rotated to pan by the hawk and see its reaction. The view was the closest I got and looked epic as I was literally looking over the shoulder of a flying bird. I continued to follow finding myself in three rotations with the bird who seemed curious about me and allowed me to engage a bit.


Phenomenal technology

Dan is still blown away by the technology that allowed this encounter to happen. And you know what? He’s absolutely right:

I had opened this majestic location with an amazing experience. Is this going to be a common occurrence? I think if it were, it would be no less magical. I can’t help but reflect on this amazing technology and how its transformed the way I can interface with the world around me.

Great thoughts, Dan. And, for someone brand new to flying manual FPV, really stellar job in keeping the hawk in your sites but from a distance.

A popular spot for drones

As mentioned, the Scarborough Bluffs is a very popular spot for drone flying. And, while still scrolling Reddit, we found another post by a different DJI FPV pilot. This one gives you a better vista of the location:

Awesome stuff. We really need to get out and do some more flying. We’ve posed another question or two for u/firstofmyname02; if he gets back to us, we’ll update the story.

Oh, and if you’d like to carry out a similar flight, you’ll find the DJI FPV drone here.

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