Mumuration – The Dance of Thousands of Starlings – A Wonder of Nature

11/02/12 6:06 PM

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.

The murmurations are manifestations of swarm intelligence, which in different contexts is practiced by schools of fish, swarms of bees and colonies of ants. 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  in the giant flock.

This short video was captured by two young women out in their canoe one day. It’s extraordinary. Enjoy!

Posted by Rain Hummingbird | in Fun Animal Photos and Videos | Leave a Comment »

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