Winged Grace: Murmurations by da-AL

Murmuration: A flock of starlings.

I call a flock of starlings Supreme Grace — ballet, music, and nature soaring amid limitless sky.

Murmuration of starlings over a field
From National Geographic’s “Flight of the Starlings”

Yesterday while I was driving, stopped at a traffic light, I held my breath as I found myself gazing at a flock of birds dipping and soaring, looping and circling again and again.

I went online to find out why and how they do it, only to get more questions than answers. There was this about when they do v-formations, but little about their swirly kind of flying in flocks. No one knows whether each bird is flying solo, trying not to hit each other while capitalizing on safety in numbers, or whether they’re truly focused on unity.

Three short videos of starling murmurations I thought you’d enjoy…

19 thoughts on “Winged Grace: Murmurations by da-AL”

  1. The birds with the V-formation are geese … 😉
    We have the phenomenon of murmuring or murmuration also in Denmark, when the starlings gather to fly south. The Danes call it “black sun”. It is really graceful, and I do wonder how they do it without bumping into each other.
    But fish do it as well don’t they? Under water, of course, 😉 they swim in these close formations moving gracefully as one big unit.

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  2. I saw a documentary on them a while back, and how their numbers are in decline in Europe. It seems to me that they fly in a flock like this to give them safety, like a school of fish. My landlord keeps doves. And he let’s them out to fly every day. It’s really interesting to watch their own seemingly coordinated flying patterns. How one always takes the lead and the others will follow, until another takes over as leader — it’s kind of hypnotic in a way.

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  3. Fascinating, whimsical phenomenon 😀
    Until four-five years ago, starlings came to our city park (not so many, though!) to fly their eerie dance but now for some reasons related to winter temperature they have disappeared.

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    1. Are you in Europe? Their population is in serious decline. I think it was around 30 something % reduction. If it continues, I wouldn’t be surprised if starlings end up on the endangered list.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Yeah, tell me about it! All we get here in Germany is rain and more rain all year. It’s cold all year, but not cold enough for snow in winter. I never see big flocks of starlings here, though. Years ago, I used to see some smaller flocks who seemed to be on a suicide mission to collide with cars, but now… Not so many. Even squirrels seem to be down in numbers.

          Liked by 2 people

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