Murmuration? Say what???
OK! WHAT IS A MURMURATION YOU ASK? Simply, one of the most spectacular animal phenomena known to man.
It consists of thousands of tiny starlings (birds) collectively flying and swirling about. The mesmerizing act is typically seen at the beginning of winter, right before dusk, as the birds look for a place to roost for the night. During the action, birds reach speeds of up to 20 mph.
- Essentially it’s an epic battle to determine who in the flock survives, and who’s a target for predators. Each starling tries to copy the bird next to it exactly, which results in a stunning rippling effect. Numbers build up slowly near the roost over the afternoon as small groups of birds return from foraging in the area, explains the British Trust for Ornithology. By late afternoon there is a huge swirling cloud. It’s all about safety in numbers – none wants to be on the outside, none wants to be first to land.
This wonderful video footage was shot by Sophie Windsor Clive and paddling companion, Liberty Smith, while canoeing on Ireland’s River Shannon.
Tweet, Tweet and à bientôt! Jack
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