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Old 9th August 2012, 13:15   #1 (permalink)
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Murmuration

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Here is something beautiful!WOW!!

No one knows why they do it. Yet each fall, thousands of starlings dance in the twilight above England and Scotland. The birds gather in shape-shifting flocks called murmurations, having migrated in the millions from Russia and 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 UK in recent years, perhaps because of a decline in suitable nesting sites. The birds still roost in several of Britain's rural pastures, however, settling down to sleep (and chatter) after their evening ballet.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.
Click below



Murmuration on Vimeo
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Old 9th August 2012, 13:23   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Murmuration

Many thanks for sharing. It is many years since I have witnessed something like this. It is best not to be underneath these flocks because the gentle pitter patter you hear is not rain!!!
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Old 9th August 2012, 13:33   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Murmuration

When I was a schoolboy the bus I took home went past Temple Meads station in Bristol. This was roost to tens of thousand of starlings and murmurations were common in the late autumn twilight. Funny how they can seem such noisy, greedy, yobs when they are in your garden but then put on a fantastic aerial ballet.
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