Police in the Netherlands planned to deploy a team of eagles to take down rogue drones in 2018. It turns out that training the birds of prey is more expensive and complicated than anticipated. The trained eagles wouldn’t always do what they were trained to do - not in a controlled training environment, never mind in the field. Dutch police had bought four sea eagle chicks after completing their trials last year.
When Dutch police first released a video showing the birds of prey grabbing drones out of the air with their claws, animal rights activists voiced their concerns. "If an eagle can not catch his prey, he may become so frustrated that he picks up something else. Eagle talons are strong enough to easily pierce a child's head,” Robert Muster, a falconer, told the NL Times last year.
Holland was the first country to tackle rogue drones in this way, and Dutch police say they’re now looking at other options as they move the eagles to a shelter.
The US Air Force, meanwhile, is researching falcons and how they target prey to develop defense systems against drones.