Starling murmurations are some of nature's eeriest and most impressive displays. But something about the in-flight behavior of this geometrically synched flock in Scotland is particularly transfixing.
Starling flocks are called "murmurations." The birds fly in massive, tightly-packed groups to fend off predators, find food together, and seek mates. There are several theories as to how they coordinate their flight patterns so smoothly; what's certain is how hypnotic it looks from the ground.
Fewer things are more mesmerizing than watching massive flocks of starlings go into murmuration mode — a defensive measure designed to ward of predators. A recent video shot in Utrecht, The Netherlands is a perfect case in point.
In Focus collected a whole gallery of beautiful starling murmurations photographs, but this is one of those cases where photography can't beat seeing thousands of birds in motion. These videos are breathtaking.
Here are two things you should do immediately. One: watch this. It's a jaw-dropping video of starlings in flight that will straight up give you chills. The swirling cloud of birds is called a "murmuration," and it's just one example of how animals in very large groups can engage in remarkably coordinated collective…
See those black bits scattered around this Boeing? It's just part of a massive flock of starlings hitting its fuselage and engine as it was taking off at 200mph. About two hundred birds were sucked into the turbine.