Monday, November 07, 2011


Over the weekend Dan Murphy (@bungdan) tweeted, “Agape. And then I realize that humans will never move this beautifully together (and i usually hate starlings).” The link he added was to the video below.

The name for this fluid formation is murmurationPaul Stancliffe of the British Trust for Ornithology described this survival strategy of starlings: “Each bird strives to fly as close to its neighbours as possible, instantly copying any changes in speed or direction. As a result, tiny deviations by one bird are magnified and distorted by those surrounding it, creating rippling, swirling patterns.” [Read more of his explanation in an article in The Telegraph.]

Two artists, “Sophie Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith, happened upon a flock of starlings during its winter movement over water. The women were canoeing at dusk, and captured “one of nature’s greatest and most fleeting phenomena on video. The starlings begin their astonishing flight about thirty seconds into the video.” [Tweet Source: The Atlantic]

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Given their many endowments, Dan Murphy’s tweeted assertion, “that humans will never move this beautifully together,” appears correct.

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