Starling murmurations as you've never heard before


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/24/starling-murmurations-as-you.html


#2

(A) That is rad!

(B) Gonna call that more of a susurrus than than a murmuration.


#3

The most amazing part might be that he filmed this without an umbrella!


#4

Nature’s lava lamp. Love seeing these.


#5

The starlings used to (and I assume still do) invade my old college campus every year. This led to the tradition of “bird clapping”. Whenever your path would take you under a tree, you would loudly clap your hands together a few time, which would cause all the starling in the tree to fly away from the sound. You could then safely pass under the tree. Likewise, a few claps would divert a flock that might be headed in your direction.


#6

I saw one of these flocks at a bird sanctuary near Socorro, New Mexico. On the outskirts, were two or three hawks who would swoop in for easy pickings.


#7

One of three birds NOT protected by federal law!


#8

It really lifts the heart, seeing that on an autumn evening. It makes me wonder what we’ve missed with the passing of the passenger pigeon. Quoth Audubon via Wikipedia:

I cannot describe to you the extreme beauty of their aerial evolutions, when a hawk chanced to press upon the rear of the flock. At once, like a torrent, and with a noise like thunder, they rushed into a compact mass, pressing upon each other towards the center. In these almost solid masses, they darted forward in undulating and angular lines, descended and swept close over the earth with inconceivable velocity, mounted perpendicularly so as to resemble a vast column, and, when high, were seen wheeling and twisting within their continued lines, which then resembled the coils of a gigantic serpent… Before sunset I reached Louisville, distant from Hardensburgh fifty-five miles. The Pigeons were still passing in undiminished numbers and continued to do so for three days in succession.


#9

The murmuration is the flockblob itself, the susurrus is the sound it produces.


#10

so what you’re saying is, a bunch of dumb birds, not always wanting to go the same direction, can, in these huge numbers, eventually work together for the good of the flock as a whole. hmm


#11

We live on a cool planet.


#12

OOOOOOHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhh! Now I get it!


#13

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