Bird on your six!

Jul 16, 2012 27 Comments by

The video camera onboard this RC aircraft captured some extremely unusual aerial interaction. We’re not sure whether this bird just wants to take a ride or whether he wants to take the plane OUT! Watch this clip and decide for yourself.  (Extra credit if you can tell us what type of bird is in the video!)


Debra Cleghorn, Editors Blogs

About the author

Executive editor About me: I’m a publishing professional who has a passion for aviation and RC, and I love creating issues, books and a website that help RC pilots to enjoy this sport even more. I admire scale aircraft and enjoy the convenience of flying smaller electrics.

27 Responses to “Bird on your six!”

  1. Harold J. Coleman says:

    It appears to be a Magpie.
    I have had turkey vultures soar with me, but the worst seems to be the smaller birds that think they can chase off a park flyer.

  2. Chris in California says:

    Here are some images of a magpie:

    given the quality (?) of the video it’s hard to be sure but the markings appear to be similar.

  3. Neal Martin says:

    The bird is a Hooded Crow. Otherwise known as the Scotch Crow, Danish Crow, and Corbie or Grey Crow. Found across Northern, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, as well as parts of the Middle East.

  4. ChazM says:

    Looks like the pilot was given the bird.

  5. LeftRightLeft says:

    Bird wanted to mate with the plane. Can’t blame her … that’s a very handsome foamie. Funny video …

  6. Superbad says:

    Dang birds.

  7. John says:

    It is an exceptionally cheezy example of green screen work. The bird flew through the plane several times.

  8. MigM says:

    Disagree with the “green screen” comment. Bird wing flaps look choppy, but that’s typical of the low quality digital video you would expect to see on an RC plane. Plus, not that unusual to have a bird trail an RC plane, happened to me a few times…

  9. Homes says:

    the music makes the video. too funny. thanks for posting.

  10. Paul says:

    Here in the PNW, crows mob eagles in a manner like this. However I wouldn’t bet against it just being a corvid having fun. That whole family of birds is very smart.

  11. joe says:

    Where the heck are the escorts!!??? Very nice use of the “flap”erons!

  12. Edo McGowan says:

    Crow,———– typical aggressive behaviour for attacking slower flying raptor, which it may have considered the RC plane to have been. Looks like Indian house crow, where was video taken? They were all over Nairobi

  13. J Thompson says:

    While flying a .91 powered Dust Devil outside Lubbock Tx, a flock of pigions formed up and made a diving head on attack. The result was 3 dead pigionss, and a totaled Dust Devil and lots of feathers…

  14. Maxie says:

    I agree with MigM–watch the rudder and elevator–neither move throughout the whole flight. It’s been photo shopped!

  15. Todd Breda says:

    That’s clearly not a photoshopped video nor a green screen, nor has it been edited in any way. You can not only see the sun light reflections move appropriately on its surface based on its angle relative to the sun, but at one point the bird’s claws wrap around the leading edge of the elevator stab causing it to bump around!

    The lack of rudder and elevator can easily be explained by the angle of the camera and minimal throws.

    Cool video!

  16. jefity says:

    the original downloader on YouTube fools around with trick videos so…

  17. Anonymous says:

    Not sure why anyone would say there are no control surface deflections…the rudder is very minimal, but the elevator can be clearly seen deflecting a number of times…control surface deflection on a sailplane, in typical, normal flight mode is very small. I think it’s great video! I have had hawks and crows “stalk” or encourage planes I was piloting to “leave” their airspace before…it is sorta fun to taunt them when they take this “attitude”!

  18. Jay says:

    That bird is clearly a FW 190 “butcher bird” ;)

  19. James Marble says:

    To Chris in California. Thank you so much for that magnificent link. That is world class photography.

  20. James Marble says:

    I don’t even care if it is real or photo shopped. It is a great video and many thanks to the creator of this very enjoyable video. Even if it was photoshopped it was done for our enjoyment. And in that endeavor it succeeded.

  21. Tony O says:

    At both club fields, we’ve had birds go after planes. Usually, the bird was nesting nearby, and may have thought the plane was a predator endangering it’s eggs or young.
    I also at a fun fly, had a red-tailed hawk engage me in an over 2 minute combat. I have to admit he outflew me, and could have taken out the little .15 powered put-put I was using any time he wanted.
    We’ve also had Turkey Vultures and Eagles, and even Hawks settle in to seemingly fly formaion with gliders an OTers.

  22. Nik says:

    It’s a Magpie! They usually attack during nesting season, as what Tony O has described in the comment above. We have two similar video clips on Sept 22, 2007 at our aeromodelling club here in Melbourne, Australia



  23. Niall Spain says:

    Australian “Maggies” would have torn that poor plane to shreads and attacked from above centre, yours showed more sense coming at it from behind & above

  24. geno says:

    I think that bird is the same as the ones you see on the glass cleaner commercial but this Bird is trying to take out the plane.
    My guess is the Bird is a MAGPIE.

  25. John Morgan says:

    In Oz we get crows attacking the likes of Radians and similar, mine have bits out here and there. Springtime is bad. Don’t mess with a falcon .. One waited till I was landing a stick and hit wing with talons… Poor stick!!
    Loved the video, with slight rudder and some elevator movement looked true to me… Great stuff!!!

  26. zack says:

    I think it was a magpie and it was attacking because it didn’t like that some other thing that just showed up was flying better than it!

  27. Rick Daugherty says:

    Yes, birds chase RC. I try to avoid them, to stay clear, but it happens frequently. Often they’ll just investigate, lose interest, then continue their lazy circling. But on at least one occasion my Extra 300 foamie was Leader of the Flock – I’d bank, they’d bank, climb, they’d climb. We just circled as one flock of about a dozen “birds” through the sunset sky. This went on for about 6-8 minutes.

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