Drone video posted online by the Canadian Aviation Regulations Agency shows a parrot flying an unmanned aircraft that was flying from the northwest to the east at an altitude of 15 kilometres.
The video is part of a campaign to alert Canadians to the dangers of drone flight and to get people to avoid flying drones in the skies.
The footage was posted to YouTube on Friday and shows the parrot, a yellow, winged bird about 5 metres long, hovering in the sky.
The parrot has a black and white markings around its body.
A birdologist and a researcher with the University of Toronto, Peter Tardif, said he and his colleague were watching the drone while they were at the airport on Saturday morning.
They observed a pilot, who had been flying the drone at an altitudes of 15-20 kilometres, circling over the city.
The pilot then turned the drone back toward the airport and approached the pilot.
“He approached, and the bird turned and he looked over at the pilot, and then he flew away,” Tardin said.
He said the bird flew to a point about 20 kilometres north of the airport, flew off the pilot’s wing and then flew back toward Toronto.
“The bird landed in the bush, and he flew off into the bush and then the bird landed a few metres away,” he said.
Tardins colleague, Andrew Zimlich, said the video is the most dramatic sighting he’s ever seen.
“It was just really impressive,” he told CBC News from Toronto.
The bird was reported missing on March 1 and Tardim was contacted by authorities.
The investigation is ongoing.
“We just wanted to get it out there so that people knew about it,” he added.
Tatar, a birdologist, has been flying for 15 years and is part owner of the Toronto-based company Avianavir.
Tarszka Zimbalnitska, who has been tracking the parrots for the past three years, said it was a thrill to see a bird on a drone.
“They were flying low, so you can see the birds, and there were people watching them,” she said.
“This bird is really smart, so it’s really cool to see it flying.”
Zimblinska added that they plan to collect video from the drone to share with the public.
“You don’t see that often, and we hope it gets more people to look out and be a little more aware of what’s going on,” she added.
A video posted by AvianAvir on March 3, 2018 at 12:58pm PST showed a parrots wing and tail, and also a drone pilot flying the bird.
Zimberinska said the birds are good flyers and do well flying in open areas, but that they have a tendency to wander into the brush.
“That’s when they start to be aggressive and get really into trouble,” she explained.
Tardszka said they plan on flying the parroting birds in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
“A lot of people are going to be surprised,” she concluded.