Purpose The purpose of this paper is to create a conceptual design a bird-inspired unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can stay in the air for a long time while this design influences the species near the airport with predator appearance. To achieve that goal, reverse engineering methods took into account to find out optimal parameter, and effective bird species were examined to be taken as an example. Design/methodology/approach Design parameters were determined according to the behaviour of bird species in the region and their natural enemies. Dalaman airport where is located near the fresh water supplies and sea, was chosen as the area to run. To keep such birds away from the airport and to prevent potential incidents, information from animal behaviour studies is enormously important. According to Tinbergen, chicken and gees reacted to all short-necked birds because they thought they were predators. The entire method is based on information from these data, along with reverse engineering principles. Findings UAV can remain in the air for more than 5 min when the engine stops at an altitude of 200 m. Also, when the UAV loses altitude of 100 m, it can cover a distance of about 2 m with the 19.8-glide ratio. Moreover, 380 KV brushless electric motor can provide 5.2 kg thrust force with 17 x 8-inch folding propeller which means 1.3 thrust to weight ratio (T/W). This engine and propeller combination work up to 12 min at maximum power with 7000 mAh lipo-battery. The UAV can climb more than 40 min at 0.2 T/W ratio. Research limitations/implications While bird-inspired UAV trials have just begun, general ornithopter studies have taken smaller birds as their source because this is the limit of the flapping wing, one of the largest birds modelled in this study. Thus, it is inevitable the UAV influences other birds in the area. In addition, this bird's inherent flight behaviour, such as soaring, ridge lifting and gliding, will increase its credibility. Owing to size similarity with UAV systems, reverse engineering methods worked well in the design. Practical implications Some of the specialist try to fly trained falcon in airport as an alternative method. This study focussed on the design of a bird-inspired UAV by optimizing the glide performance, both for scare the other birds around the airport and for the observation of birds in the vicinity and for the identification of bird species. Social implications As this type of work has been proven to reduce the risk of bird strikes, the sense of flight safety on society will increase. Originality/value Researchers and companies generally work on flapping wing models for related subjects. However, these products are kind of model of the Falconiformes species which don't have too much influence on big birds. For this reason, the authors took account of Imperial eagle's specifications. These birds perform long soaring flights while seeking for prey like the glider design. So, the authors think it is a new approach for designing UAV for preventing bird-strike.