Technology is capable of advances we could never have imagined. This time, it is a research team in New Mexico that is harnessing the art of bird taxidermy to create drones. In this way, they will study their flight patterns.

As Mostafa Hassanalian, a professor of mechanical engineering who heads the project at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro, told Reuters, the project began with the study of stuffed birds after realising that the results of mechanical drones were inadequate.

Hassanalian said that this led to “the idea that we could use… dead birds and turn them into drones”. “It’s all there. We reverse engineer them,” he added.

Aviation industry application

In this way, the scientists hope to use them to study bird formations and flight patterns. This can also be applied to the aviation industry, according to the project leader.

Reuters has detailed that the taxidermied bird drones currently being tested at the university are being studied in a specially designed ‘cage’.

“If we learn how these birds manage energy between themselves, we can apply it to the future aviation industry to save more energy and fuel,” Hassanalian said.

For now, the current prototype “bird drone” can only fly for a maximum of 20 minutes. However, scientists will work to develop a model that can stay in the air longer and conduct tests among live birds.

‘Birds aren’t real’ campaign already existed

In 2019, Generation Z began to shape a conspiracy theory that has a lot to do with this research. Specifically, it suggests that “the birds are not so real”. It suggests that there are artificial ones and that, in reality, they are drones placed by the US government as a way of spying on its citizens.

Business Insider asked the project director about this, to which he replied that he had never heard of such a theory.

“I didn’t really know the people who support this theory. I found out about them when my story first came out,” Hassanalian said.