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by OntPhoto on Sun Jun 20, 2021 7:13 pm
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Joined: 09 Dec 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario. Canada.
I was enjoying an early morning watching a family of peregrine falcons.  So peaceful, what could happen? Suddenly, these two guys walk in with a drone.  They stand directly beneath where the falcons are roosting and fly a drone right up to them.  They were doing this for about 15 minutes or so.  I approached them to see what they were all about.  The one operating the drone didn't say anything.  I could tell the other guy was just being a schmuck.  Birds?  Are there birds here?  We know what we're doing.  

The guy acted like he had done this countless times.  He likely has gotten away with it because nobody did anything.  I just did some research based on info I received and the peregrine falcon is actually listed now as Not At Risk in 2017.  The term harassment has been used to describe various situations but flying a drone up to them is cut and dry.

This was very early in the morning, a time when I normally would still be sound asleep.  I am not thinking as sharp as I normally would.  I have a 4k camcorder with 25X optical zoom and should have videoed the whole thing.  Or the Nikon P900 with 2000mm zoom and very good video.  I did take photos of them.

I did not think they may have parked their vehicle somewhere.  I did not see their vehicle or would have taken the license plate down. Finally I went to check and saw a black SUV driving away.  Peregrine falcons are a provincially protected bird and flying a drone up to harass them can get you into a lot of trouble.  

I hope they are not photographers because if I run into them in the field, I will recognize them.  I did report the incident to the appropriate people and authourities.  Hopefully, video footage can be retrieved.  I feel obligated to take care of such things. They can make my day by showing up again but I doubt that will happen :-)  Never say never.  There's always next year.  I'm prepared next time, wide awake or not.

My dashcam was running though.  Parking Mode triggered to record with any movement.

Drones.  Beware.

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