Amazing Starling Mumuration on Video

November 10, 2011


You guys have got to see this video! It’s just…. stunning.

No one knows why starlings (also called grackles) flock together like this. There’s even a special name for it: murmuration. The results is a breath-taking black ballet in the sky.

Some girls were paddling along the River Shannon in Ireland and happened to catch starlings in action. You can hear them gasping in awe during the birds’ formations. Wow!

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

According to,

Starling flocks, it turns out, are best described with equations of “critical transitions” — systems that are poised to tip, to be almost instantly and completely transformed, like metals becoming magnetized or liquid turning to gas. Each starling in a flock is connected to every other. When a flock turns in unison, it’s a phase transition.

Well, we already know what it’s like. But WHY do they do it? I think this is more difficult to answer, something that probably goes beyond mere biology.

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3 Responses to “Amazing Starling Mumuration on Video”

  1. lin Says:

    I’m totally posting this tomorrow and giving you credit for it, pally. I was stunned by this incredible footage. I love the girls and scenery and the gentle miracle that was happening above them. Wow. Thanks for introducing me to this. It made my day.

  2. Justin Says:

    Wow! That was awesome! Like something out of a movie. I’d give anything to see that in person, cool!

  3. Katherines Corner Says:

    Beautiful! I was fortunate enough to see the starlings do their dance in the sky recently. It was amazing, i love this video. Thank you for sharing it with us. Big Hugs xo