Murmuration of Starlings over Istanbul

This is a Hipmunk post from Jodi Ettenberg of Legal Nomads

Istanbul is a lovely city to explore but a curious thing happens at dusk: murmurations of starlings swirl their way across the city’s many rooftops, clustering on a tree then continuing on their graceful path. For anyone who has seen starlings in flight, it’s an incredible, magical sight.
Walking back to the hostel yesterday, a cloud of starlings passed overhead, curling around the buildings:

But photos can only capture so much. Thankfully, Sophie Windsor Clive from Ireland had a video camera with her when she stumbled on a murmuration of starlings:


Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

As Wired Magazine noted in an article about starling physics:

Mathematical analysis of flock dynamics show how each starling’s movement is influenced by every other starling, and vice versa. It doesn’t matter how large a flock is, or if two birds are on opposite sides. It’s as if every individual is connected to the same network.

The article also makes it clear that the connectivity of movement as a whole is something scientists have yet to understand. The strong correlation between each of the birds remains a mystery, but one that is beautiful to behold.


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