Photo of murmuration of starlings looks like a giant starling


Originally published at:


Eh, looks more like a robin to me.


I was going to say it looks like a mallard.


That’s one flocking elegant algorithm.



I was going to say it looks like my parents fighting.


Emergent behavior basically created a birbception. /rimshot



He’s rebuilding his site,

Photo: good timing.
Website: bad timing.


What happened to all the starlings, anyway? There used to be hundreds of them about when I was a kid. Never see any these days.


Lack of food. Pesticides and landscapes cleared of structural elements. Insect biomass in central western Europe fell by 70% since the 1980.

Remember those bugs on the windscreen?


I worked on a large industrial automation project in the 90s that was inspired by stigmergic flocking and schooling behaviors. Weirdly, until then I was mostly oblivious to the vast movements of birds from their nesting areas in the remaining Delaware swamps to their feeding areas every night; in the summertime there are seemingly endless sky-rivers of millions and millions of birds… I knew they were there, I’d just never thought about it. It’s very beautiful to me now.


Cool, thanks, but here’s a much better version!


Woah. You’re right.


They usually look like boobs to me.


Surely you’re thinking of a different bird?


This actually made national news in Germany, and for more than just hiccup:

We’ll see if this leads to any change in policies and best practice. I doubt it, very much.

But everyone remembers this alleged Einstein quote about the bees, right?

We are so fucked if I’m not really mistaken…

ETA: haven’t read/listened to this, but leave it here for future reference:


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