Friday, March 07, 2014

Starling Murmurations

[Thanks to Tommy]

I think I blogged this phenomenon a couple of years ago, but this is the best video I've seen of it.

Personally I think that no matter how one looks at it, there has to be some non-material or at least some speed-of-light communication involved to make a couple hundred thousand bodies acto so coordinatedly.


kcaussie said...

I have a bucket list of things I want to experience before I pass on (hopefully a long time in the future!) and would like to see and photograph this with my own eyes. I do not yet have a "prosumer" camera but I am looking at options. My adult daughter recently bought an OM-D E-M5 based partly on my pointing her to micro 4/3 which I in turn first learned about by reading your blog. Would a camera like this (paired with a good lens) be suitable for this kind of photography? I'm not in any hurry ... this is still a bit down the road for me ... but I am curious of your opinion. Thanks!

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Not only suitable, it would be my preferred system!
(At the moment, the E-M1 camera.)

Long lenses are essential for animals, particularly birds. And M4/3 lenses have double the reach "per kilo", at least. I have an Olympus 75-300mm zoom, which is amazing, It is equivalent in reach to a 600mm lens for 35mm (or full frame), which would be 2-3 kilos, and almost impossible to hand-hold. But it is only half a kilo! (about a pound) and easy to hand-hold, gets great results, and the in-body stabilization and higher sensitivity of sensors than film makes it much easier to use than such equipment used to be, by far.

Thanks for writing.

TC [Girl] said...

Very cool... To me, if feels much like in the military, where, while marching, you have to keep your place (distance) w/the one to your left, your right, and the one in front of you, at all times, the bird kingdom, at least from what I have gathered from watching huge flocks of geese, there is one Lead who establishes the flight pattern that seems to "ripple" through the flock in very quick order...

Anonymous said...

The abililty of the birds to coordinate to the extent that the flock appears as one entity reminds me of the ant colony in Godel Escher Bach

Russ said...

Insects and fish also exhibit this type of "swarm behaviour".

Wikipedia reports that early studies of swarm behaviour employed mathematical models to simulate and understand the behavior; the simplest of which employed these rules:

1. Move in the same direction as your neighbours.
2. Remain close to your neighbours.
3. Avoid collisions with your neighbours.