Breathtaking Murmurations of Starlings

For some it may look as a romantic spectacle of nature, others associate it with a horror movie scene, while for street sweepers it just means a lot of crap to clean. These “living clouds” created by thousands of starlings flying together has acquired a term “murmuration.” The way they all suddenly change direction or speed still remains the secret of nature, but there are theories to support both the scientific and the supernatural side of it.

Some say that the coordination of flocks that vary from 100 to 4000 birds is beyond biology. No matter the size of the flock, it remains unclear how the birds all respond to the same command instantly as if they were a single entity. Others, however, claim that the underlying maths is comparatively straightforward – birds just try to stick close to each other for safety reasons. That way, they also instantly copy any changes in the movement of those next to them. If one bird changes its direction, others do the same, creating a magnificent rippling effect.

No matter what, it’s a magical sight! It occurs in February and November, so check out the sky every once in a while!


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Owen Humphreys)


(Image credits: Chris Robbins)


(Image credits: Alan Mackenzie)


(Image credits: Alan Mackenzie)

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