Starlings swarming

Jeremy sez, "Video of a starlings swarming; rather amazing, and recalls for me many images from technology and nature."

Bird Swarm (Thanks, Jeremy!)



  1. I don’t know what it’s like anywhere else, but here in Rome, we get this every autumn. In fact, it’s that time of year again and it’s happening right now, outside my window. It’s terrific and awe-inspiring, to see all these birds wheeling through the air in unison.

    But thousands of birds also means a lot of poop. When they’re done flocking, they like to chill down by the river. Walking along there now is like walking through disgusting, filthy, smelly snow.

  2. If you want to really blow your mind for a moment, consider: how does the swarm decide how it moves? Birds are intelligent creatures individually, but does the swarm itself have an intelligence of its own?

  3. That’s amazing! I saw something similar, a larger flock but not nearly as dramatic in terms of the movement, whilst driving through Nebraska. It was incredible and made me ponder what it would have been like in pre-colonial days when flocks of birds could effectively block the sun out or the sound of hundreds of thousands (more?) birds nesting could deafen a person…

  4. Every year, for one afternoon only, about a thousand starlings land in my backyard and strut around, occasionally flying into the air, then settling back down. I don’t know why. After a few hours, they’re gone. But it’s quite a sight to see this Hitchcockian gang swarming all over the yard.

  5. there
    a flock of dots form a shadow on the sky
    an ebbing and flowing exclamation point
    the mass turns east
    revealing birds in unison
    swooping feather to wing
    an animated speech bubble
    the world, my friend
    holds more than you will ever know

  6. A flock of starling is called a murmuration. The sound such a flock makes is exhilarating and almost other-wordly.

  7. This past Saturday my husband and I were driving south on I75 near Piqua, OH. At 11:02am I received a call on my cell. While I was talking a noticed a huge flock of birds to the south on the right side of the car. They suddenly made a clear square with concave sides. I was astonished to see such a pronounced shape and it broke my conversation as I alerted my husband to look at the birds. Not even two seconds later they had formed into a very distinct triangle and I was exclaiming to the woman on the phone and then in less than two seconds more they were in a perfectly formed crescent moon. At this point I was sweating and covered in goosebumps; they made a looser shape of a square and then disbanded into more of a blob. It took miles before my internal system calmed down. When i try to compare it to something it was like a massive colorguard or marching band show that was on fast forward as it performed. I felt honored to witness it and wonder if others near that road also saw it. My husband then forwarded me the link to your BoingBoing when he saw your video. Thank you, Boing Boing and Jeremy. Thank you leaded also.

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