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Speed limit for birds: Researchers find critical speed above which birds -- and drones -- are sure to crash

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The northern goshawk is one of nature's diehard thrill-seekers. The formidable raptor preys on birds and small mammals, speeding through tree canopies and underbrush to catch its quarry. While speed is a goshawk's greatest asset, researchers say the bird must observe a theoretical speed limit if it wants to avoid a crash. The researchers found that, given a certain density of obstacles, there exists a speed below which a bird -- and any other flying object -- has a fair chance of flying collision-free. Any faster, and a bird or aircraft is sure to smack into something, no matter how much information it has about its environment.


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