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Owl vs. drone: We test the ultimate flying machines

We put the DJI Phantom 4 up against Mother Nature's top predator, the beautiful barn owl, in a deadly serious battle of aerobatic skills.

The DJI Phantom 4 may come packed with a tonne of intelligent flight modes to help you send it soaring through the sky, but what we really care about is how it stacks up against Mother Nature's finest -- a barn owl.

In this special video we put beak against lens, wings against propellors and feathers against, well, plastic, in a series of challenges to see which flying machine is best suited to a life in the air.

Can DJI's research department outwit millions of years of evolution? Will feathers be ruffled by the drone's 45 mph top speed? Will I get me face clawed off?

Our thanks to The Feather Folk for meeting us with Foggy the barn owl for this challenge. Our commiserations to DJI for this hard loss.


All participants were paid with mice.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET