Every year during autumn in northern Europe, Asia and N. America, thousands of starlings put on a spectacular show just before dusk in a phenomenon called murmurations.
Scientists aren’t sure how they do it. Even complex algorithmic models haven’t been able to explain the starlings’ acrobatics, which rely on the tiny bird’s reaction time of under 100 milliseconds to avoid aerial collisions—and predators—in the giant flock. The birds tend to flock together for protection and can reach speeds of up to 20 mph.
Be sure to watch at least one of the following videos. I recommend all three. They may well leave you in a peaceful state of awe.
This video is narrated if you want to both learn more and to have a musical accompaniment.
I’d say this is my favorite, set to Pachelbel’s Canon. The swaying dance of the birds seems to magically keep time with the music. Amazing.
Special thanks to amusing planet for many of the images and the first video.
The narrated and pachelbel videos are both by Dylan Winter.