I know I’m slow out of the gate here. This meme peaked late last year, and everyone has already had their chuckle. But for those who don’t live their lives knee-deep in internet (and yet are somehow here), the basic premise is that the government has been killing birds since the 1960s, and replacing them with drones. The lore obviously goes a lot deeper than that, but that’s the basic concept–nobody has seen a “real” bird in decades. If you want to go deep on the lore, there’s a whole website about it.
We all had a good laugh. Birds! Not real! Hilarious!
But it turns out people really do make bird drones. Here’s a sampling. The first is the biomimetic and zoosemiotic unmanned aircraft guided by automatic pilot for precision and/or pursuit flights:
EP 339 88 53, FIG. 1c
This is designed to detect and scare away pests by creating a realistic bird of prey in the sky. But the fearsome silhouette isn’t enough, it can also include a pyrotechnic launcher, turning your bird drone into a bomber.
Next up is the device and method for dispersing unwanted flocks and concentrations of birds:
This application never issued, having run afowl of “applicant admitted prior art.” Basically, the applicant admitted in the specification that certain aspects were “well-known,” which makes the patent examiner’s job way easier. They were able to modify a non-drone decoy reference based on the applicant’s own admissions, and that was the end of that.
Then you’ve got the remotely controllable flying decoy:
In this case, the inventor was trying to attract other birds and was motivated to make it look realistic.
And then of course there’s the motion decoy with biaxial wing beat, or roboduck:
This one isn’t intended to fly, but just to flap its wings in a realistic way that attracts other birds.
I wasn’t able to find many issued patents on flying bird drones. Is the government trying to suppress bird drone technology? I’m not saying that they definitely absolutely are. I’m just giving you the facts.