Murmuration - The Dance of the Starlings
Here’s another mystery of nature:
No one knows why they do it, yet each fall, thousands of starlings dance in the twilight above
and England . The birds gather in shape-shifting flocks called
murmurations, having migrated in the millions from Scotland and Russia Scandinavia to escape winter’s frigid bite .
Scientists aren’t sure how they do it either. The starlings' murmurations are manifestations of swarm intelligence, which in different contexts is practiced by schools of fish , swarms of bees, and colonies of ants. As far as I am aware, even complex algorithmic models haven’t yet explained the starlings’ aerobatics, which rely on the tiny birds' quicksilver reaction time of under 100 milliseconds, to avoid aerial collisions — and predators — in the giant flock.
Despite their tour de force in the dusky sky, starlings have declined significantly in the
in recent years, perhaps because of a decline in suitable
nesting sites. The birds still roost in several of UK ’s rural pastures; however, settling down to sleep, (and chatter), after their evening ballet. Britain
Two young ladies were out for a late afternoon canoe ride and fortunately one of them remembered to bring her video camera. What they saw was a wonderful murmuration display, caught in the short video - URL is below. Watch the variation of color and intensity of the patterns that the birds make in proximity to one other, and take a look at the girl in the stern of the canoe watching the aerial display.
Til next Time,
A chance encounter and shared moment with one of natures greatest and most fleeting phenomena.
Looking for some fun photography opportunity to capture tiny birds, check this out: