This raven badly wants coffee

I was intrigued by this video of a raven that decided to attack a drone that was delivering coffee. It failed and the coffee was delivered.

But what amused me is that there are people who actually order coffee to be delivered by drone. Apart from the elaborate use of technology for somewhat trivial purposes, wouldn’t the coffee be lukewarm by the time it gets to the recipient?


  1. blf says

    My first thought is it (the drone, not the raven) was just delivering beans or, perhaps, freshly-ground beans, not the liquid drink. However, some quick searching found this, Coffee drones takes flight (which is clearly something of a PR piece), which makes clear it is the liquid drink:

    When an order comes in, the barista is notified, makes the coffee, and loads it onto a drone, which is sent on its way. Once the drone arrives, it gently lowers the package into the customers front or backyard before flying home. Terrance [Bouldin-Johnson, Head of Australian Operations at Wing (the drone service)] says from placing the order to receiving it can take as little as six or seven minutes.

    The issue of keeping the drink properly hot is not discussed. I speculate this is another example of Ozland lifeforms being almost entirely dangerous — even the coffee is out to kill you.

  2. raven says

    These ravens aren’t the Northern hemisphere ravens.

    There are six members of the family Corvidae found in Australia: five native breeding species and one infrequent self-introduction. Three are called crows and three ravens, although there is really little difference. Most Australian species are similar in size and colouration, and can be difficult to tell apart.

    Australian Raven | BirdLife Australia › bird-profile › australian-raven

    They are related though, Covids and black in color.

  3. Jazzlet says

    Did the raven want coffee or did it object to a strange, noisy flying thing in it’s air space?

  4. Tethys says

    Crows often harass any birds of prey that fly through their territory. I suppose the drone seems threatening and it appears to be about the size of an eagle.

    Coffee via drone seems like a gimmick, but it would be interesting to see the drone footage of the crow attacking.

  5. John Morales says

    Presumably it uses a well-insulated container, like a thermos.

    Where I live, they’re often around (for food, I think, but hey, maybe it’s coffee). Loud things. They fly pretty fast, and obs don’t need to follow the roads, so they don’t take long.

  6. prl says

    Here’s a more local report about ravens attacking drones, from the original ABC 😉

    It’s definitely being attributed to the ravens’ territoriality here.

    I live in Canberra where these drone attacks have been seen and the drone deliveries themselves remain somewhat controversial, mainly as a noise nuisance. Permission for the drone delivery service was given before IMO any proper regulatory framework was put in place.

    My experience of Australian ravens is that they don’t seem to have this strong territoriality with respect to humans. Australian magpies (only remotely related to the European ones) and butcherbirds, on the other hand, really do not like humans anywhere near their nests.

  7. prl says

    Tethys “it would be interesting to see the drone footage of the crow attacking”

    The crow attacked the drone from above and the rear. I’m not sure the drone would have had a camera that would have shown anything more than what was caused by the drone being shaken about.

    The link I posted has a YouTube clip of the same mobile footage as the ABC item that Mano posted. My link has also has a less eventful video of food delivery by one of the drones.

  8. jrkrideau says

    @ 6 prl
    Australian magpies are notorious around the world in cycling circles. I certainly have read about them here in canada.

  9. John Morales says

    I have magpies and butcher birds where I live. They know me, and they’re my friends (I feed them, their families come over). I’m convinced they can tell people apart.

    (And yes, I know about feeding wild animals. They get a bit of fat or meat, once per day, I don’t want them to become dependent)

  10. prl says

    @ 8 jrkrideau

    Cyclists here often attach things to their cycling helmets in an attempt to discourage magpie swooping. The most common are long cable ties with the loose ends sticking up above the helmet and “googly eyes” on the back of the helmet.

    There was some informal research done by cyclists at the CSIRO Black Mountain research facility on whether any of the common methods work. Their conclusion was that a bare head was better than any helmet, with or without adornments, though riding without a helmet is illegal here.

    I’ve also seen a mail delivery rider on a small motorbike being relentlessly swooped by a magpie as they tried to make a turn at a busy highway intersection.

    The swooping is nest protection.

    But they do have a quite pleasant and complex song.

  11. jrkrideau says

    @ 10 prl
    What a fantastic film. I have long been an anti-helmet advocate. The original research (Thompson, Rivera & Thompson (1989)) was was crap. Good for the CSIRO types.

  12. prl says

    Their intention wasn’t to discourage helmet wearing. There’s a fine attached to not doing it here.

    CSIRO does no road safety research that I know of.

    But it’s still a good example of how persistent magpies are at trying to drive poff percieved threats.

  13. Holms says

    Personally I’ve always thought the reputation for ferocious protection was overblown. I walk through some very green and leafy areas with many magpies visible, yet it has been years since the last time I was swooped or saw anyone else be swooped. Maybe my local population is just mellow.

  14. prl says

    I’ve been swooped as a pedestrian by a butcherbird (smaller but no less aggressive in protecting their nests than the related Australian magpies), and it got close enough to give me a cut on my ear, presumably from a claw.

    I don’t recall having been swooped by a magpie myself, either as a pedestrian or cyclist.

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