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Posts tagged "murmuration"

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Discussions Discussion Earth Easy - Solutions for Sustainable Living
Bedford Wells, April 10, 2012

A Murmuration of Starlings… Witness a natural moment of magic…

Seeking safety from predator sparrow hawks and peregrine falcons, each bird avoids the edge, trying to stay on the inside of the flock. Mimicking each other’s flight creates form from frenzy

Bedford Wells

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Discussions Discussion Welcome to Einztein
Marco Masoni, Jan. 3, 2012

Happy 2012.

A collection of starlings is called a “murmuration.” A couple of kayakers in Ireland came across a murmuration. Nature never ceases to amaze and remind us of the importance of curiosity and discovery.

Here’s an excerpt from a study of the phenomenon:

Bird flocking is a striking example of collective animal behaviour. A vivid illustration of this phenomenon is provided by the aerial display of vast flocks of starlings gathering at dusk over the roost and swirling with extraordinary spatial coherence. Both the evolutionary justification and the mechanistic laws of flocking are poorly understood, arguably because of a lack of data on large flocks… We investigated the main features of the flock as a whole (shape, movement, density and structure) and we discuss these as emergent attributes of the grouping phenomenon. Flocks were relatively thin, of various sizes, but constant proportions. They tended to slide parallel to the ground and, during turns, their orientation changed with respect to the direction of motion. Individual birds kept a minimum distance from each other that was comparable to their wing span. The density within the aggregations was nonhomogeneous, as birds were packed more tightly at the border than the centre of the flock.”


Marco Masoni

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