November 3, 2011

A genuinely thrilling and beautiful encounter with... murmuration.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.


(Via Metafilter.)

28 comments:

Pastafarian said...

I'm not sure if I'm misremembering things or not, but it seems to me as though there were once many more large, dense flocks of birds around, 30 or 40 years ago, than there are now.

But then again, things in my memory seem to become bigger and grander than they actually were, I suspect.

KLDAVIS said...

Finally, someone explained the smoke monster.

traditionalguy said...

I love the outdoors. Great art work by a Great artist.

kwood said...

Flocking COOL, man!

traditionalguy said...

The Romans had Diviners who predicted the future by watching the bird flocks' movements.

But the message seems blurred here. Maybe it says "Please don't shoot us."

LakeLevel said...

This time of year, there is a smaller but still spectacular murmuration near the Best Buy headquarters at the intersection of I494 and I35W in Bloominton MN. It causes a lot of rear end accidents.

LarsPorsena said...

Beautiful in one sense but ugly in the fact that these are starlings, an invasive ugly species that displaces native song birds. When I see them flocking like this a little voice in my head says 'get the shotgun".

Curious George said...

Wow.

I watched a science show where they tried to determine how birds coordinated their flocking movements. The marked the birds off video digitally and analyzed each's movement to the others and could not determine the trigger mechanisms.

Nature should always have some mystery.

janetrae said...

Goosebumps.

And who else thought of the "flocking" dinosaurs from Jurassic Park?

Allie's Apple said...

Amazing! I've seen something similar on a much smaller scale and not for such an extended time. Brava, Mother Nature!

Cheryl said...

So beautiful, enhanced by a really cool video. Thank you so much for sharing this! As usual, something cool I would have never seen but for Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

I saw birds doing that in Rome right after I emerged from the train station, where I was robbed. It was my first view of Rome, and I knew I would have found it quite beautiful, but having just been robbed it felt nightmarish.

The things criminals take!

edutcher said...

Impressive, to be sure, but, if I were in that boat with Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren, I'd be scared as Hell.

Methadras said...

That was awesome.

John Burgess said...

@LarsPorsena: Rest your head. The video was shot in Ireland, well within the starlings' natural range. No American birds were discomfited.

Peter Hoh said...

Delightful. It's been a few years since I've seen a small one of these. Not sure if I'm not outside at the right time of day/time of year, or if the birds aren't grouping like that any more.

Must be hard to shoot something as unpredictable as that. I'm glad the person holding the camera resisted the urge to whip it around.

madAsHell said...

Starlings are not native to North America.

So many targets, so few shells.

Chip Ahoy said...

Best viewed with an umbrella.

LarsPorsena said...

John Burgess said...
@LarsPorsena: Rest your head. The video was shot in Ireland, well within the starlings' natural range. No American birds were discomfited.
________________________

Thanks JB...but I will still see this in my neighborhood (on a smaller scale and without the lovely seascape vista) of these noxious imports. Usually it happens just before they roost for the evening. To me this as enchanting as a locust swarm.

Pogo said...

It took my breath away.

The filmers' reaction was the laughter of surprise, delight, and awe usually limited to young children.

Pogo said...

I've seen smaller versions, and it's a recurring and wonderful dream of mine, so I am grateful you posted it.

Curious George said...

"Pogo said...
It took my breath away.

The filmers' reaction was the laughter of surprise, delight, and awe usually limited to young children."

I posted this on facebook for my sister, and my comment was almost word for word. I love the girl's reaction. Perfect.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

We see this activity quite a lot before and during the harvest season with the red wing black birds and other birds that swarm all over the fields.

I am always amazed that the birds don't fly into each other and have stunned birds falling from the sky.

VW: pretti....yes it was.

RueMom said...

I have a love/hate relationship with the "internets" - and then I see something like this! Awesome! I never even heard the word murmuration before. This is beautiful. Thanks for posting.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Quite beautiful. Glad it's in the UK, where starlings are indigenous. Starlings are an exotic species in the US, where they are driving out native species, particularly blackbirds. It seems that in 1890 some bozo released 100 starlings in Central Park, in the misguided attempt to introduce into the US every species of bird mentioned in Shakespeare. This also accounts for the English sparrows in this country.

rtsquard said...

I saw a similar display on the pier in Napoli while waiting to board the ferry to Palermo. Sunset was approaching and provided a stunning backdrop for the birds' fantastic aerial exhibition.

WV: ininest not!

Drew said...

Several years ago I was walking along a country road in Chippewa County when a mixed flock of starlings and blackbirds decided to cross from the field on one side to the field on the other. And I was right in the middle of it. I was suddenly engulfed in a huge, uncountable swarm of birds, swooping around and above me. It was amazing. I remember after they had all finally passed just standing there breathing "Wow . . . wow . . ." over and over.

Witnessed a similar incident with a huge flock of coots at a wetland. They were so tightly packed together on the water that they looked like a single black bubbling mass; when, as one, they all rose up, ran across the surface of the water as coots do, and then settled back down about 30 yards away. The sound was like applause.

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