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Breathtaking Murmurations of Starlings

For some it may look as a romantic spectacle of nature, others associate it with a horror movie scene, while for street sweepers it just means a lot of crap to clean. These “living clouds” created by thousands of starlings flying together has acquired a term “murmuration.” The way they all suddenly change direction or speed still remains the secret of nature, but there are theories to support both the scientific and the supernatural side of it.

Some say that the coordination of flocks that vary from 100 to 4000 birds is beyond biology. No matter the size of the flock, it remains unclear how the birds all respond to the same command instantly as if they were a single entity. Others, however, claim that the underlying maths is comparatively straightforward – birds just try to stick close to each other for safety reasons. That way, they also instantly copy any changes in the movement of those next to them. If one bird changes its direction, others do the same, creating a magnificent rippling effect.

No matter what, it’s a magical sight! It occurs in February and November, so check out the sky every once in a while!


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Chris Robbins)


(Image credits: Alan Mackenzie)


(Image credits: Alan Mackenzie)


(Image credits: Alan Mackenzie)

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  • Cat Harina via Facebook

    Super (y)

  • Stacy Sakamoto via Facebook

    wow!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ayla.hoogeveen Ayla Hoogeveen via Facebook

    fantastic!

  • http://www.facebook.com/myriem.remal Myriem Puigmal Remal via Facebook

    !!!

  • Chris Sam via Facebook

    awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/neil.palumbo Neil F. Palumbo via Facebook

    Now that’s what I call swarm intelligence!

  • Arthur Astaquinta

    so much beauty! but think of it twice if you recently watched The Birds.

    • april tong

      I read the Birds and that was the only thing I could think about -.- pretty scary.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ed.retherford Ed Retherford via Facebook

    Very cool!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tiger.duan.52 Tiger Duan via Facebook

    Astonishing

Date posted: Nov 16th, 2012
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