Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Murmuration is my new favorite word

Def: a collection of starlings.

Watch the amazing video below--you've probably seen photos of this phenomenon before, but seeing it in action is something else.

The music detracts from the video a little bit, but it's not wildly offensive.

These acrobatic waves occur around dusk as the starlings are roosting for the evening. Their numbers slowly build up over the roosting site throughout the afternoon, as the birds return from foraging. Heading to roost en masse decreases the probability that an individual will be picked off by a predator--each bird mimics the others' movements, avoiding the outside of the cloud or being the first to land. [via The Telegraph]

Also, I may have just ended up in a Wiki-hole of obscure names for groups of different birds. A charm of goldfinches! A parliament of owls!

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