The problem with capturing footage, whether it be photos or videos, of nature is that due to our presence, it can scare away animals and insects and cause them to behave unnaturally. However, researchers might have found a way around it by creating a drone disguised as a hummingbird which allowed them to capture this incredible footage of a swarm of Monarch butterflies that you can check out in the video above.
The footage debuted in a video from Nature on PBS back in 2020 where thanks to the drone’s disguise, it allowed it to get close to a swarm of resting Monarch butterflies who are huddled together to keep each other warm while they wait for the temperature to rise. Like we said, typically a human with a camera might not be able to get such footage as it would require them to get very close, which could disturb the butterflies and cause them to scatter.
However, because hummingbirds are not deemed as a threat by the Monarch butterfly, the drone in its disguise was able to get close to them without eliciting a reaction. The researchers who created the drone had also designed the drone so that its moving parts are shielded. This isn’t so much for the protection of the drone itself, but rather to protect the butterflies, some of whom felt comfortable enough at its presence to land on it.