alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Monday, November 03, 2008

starling symphony


Serendipity led me out to the garage to fetch my camera from the car. I was going to take an indoor photo for this blog, so I slid open the deck door and was immediately amazed by a phenomenal sound: a starling symphony. Not a startling symphony, although I guess you'd have to call it that too.

Once before, Don and I heard the starlings flock and gather in the trees around the farm. The blended assortment of squeaks, whistles and squawks is unlike anything else I've experienced. As wiki says, their song is a mix of "mimicry, clicks, wheezes, chattering, whistles, rattles, and piping notes." Imagine that times a thousand.


Starlings are famous for traveling in flocks, even when they're not migrating. They are not native to North America, and my father-in-law tells me they are a problem because they have few predators. Apparently they don't taste good, and hawks don't like eating them. So their numbers continue to grow, making these flocks more and more vast.


click on the photos to enlarge and see the birds just a little bit better

Within five minutes they were ready to leave. I'm assuming they were migrating south, although they disappeared into the northeast when they flew away beyond the poplars.


Common Starling
Sturnus vulgaris


Please watch this five and a half minute video of starlings at Ot Moor, England, by Dylan Winter, in aerobatics in which they miraculously form a moving fabric of birds undulating and maneuvering without colliding. My experience this week did not quite get to this expanded dance:


53 comments:

VioletSky said...

Ruth, thank you for that video - it is truly AWEsome.

Susan said...

Ruth, that was simply amazing, inspiring and awesome in the truest sense of the word. I was mesmerized watching it. And now I have one more thing to add to my list of things to see before I die! Thank you!

Sharon said...

I was feeling kind of sad after seeing your huffing post but that video just washed it all away. Amazing!

Leena said...

The last photo of yours is really delicate and beautiful. ( What software did you use in it ? )

Thank you for the video too!

Ruth said...

You're welcome, Sanna!

Ruth said...

Susan, I hope ribbons of birds will come to you when you least expect them and most need them.

Ruth said...

Sharon, I know, and I'm glad.

Ruth said...

Leena, thank you! That was picnik, thanks to you.

Peter said...

I thought you had a lot of sparklings on your photos... then I saw the video! Amazing indeed!!

Loring Wirbel said...

Look at the motions between about 3:46 and 4:08. Those are chaotic oscillations, perfectly mathematically described. There's a lot of biologists studying bees, birds and robots who talk about "emergent intelligence," "intelligence of the swarm," and I'm sure it has to do with the magnets in birds' heads and some kind of group intelligence - otherwise, as the commentator said, there would have to be a few collisions in a group that large. But what if one of them has avian flu or a bad feather day?

Ginnie said...

I have never seen anything like that video, Ruth...unless you're talking about that Black "Thing" on the "Lost" series. Starlings are really incredible birds, which I've been learning about on SC. I had no idea you'd see them there on your farm. I wonder what all they'll teach you?

Babs (Beetle) said...

I had seen a small clip of this before, but this was magnificent! What a beautiful video, and how wonderful nature is. I am still continually amazed by it!

Ruth said...

Peter, even I could get the birds in the frame, seeing as there were so many.

Ruth said...

Loring, wow, I just googled "chaotic oscillations" - I had no idea. Is this an example of a phenom in nature that is also in technologies? Also called hysteresis, right?

Hahaha, bad feather day, aka "nest-head."

Sandy said...

This is amazing, and he's never seen a collision, wow!!!

Ruth said...

Boots, oh! I didn't know. I looked and found this photo, which really is similar!

I should look them up in my animal guide book. :)

Ruth said...

It's so great, Babs.

Loring Wirbel said...

Oh, yeah, chaotic oscillations are in everything. That's what the Santa Fe Institute in NM pretty much studies all the time. More info in James Glieck's book Chaos.

Ruth said...

Sandy, I had to ask myself, would he be able to see one?

Loring Wirbel said...

You get a better idea if you look up "chaotic attractor" or "strange attractor"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attractor

http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/C/chaotic_attractor.html

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/pubs/212fig2.gif&imgrefurl=http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/pubs/paper212.htm&h=480&w=640&sz=14&hl=en&start=18&um=1&usg=__kb2wor0y6S4VnSH1Ds8u9TZ8ZoA=&tbnid=ftfuf_hk9pCfXM:&tbnh=103&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522Chaotic%2BAttractor%2522%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN


Isn't that trippy??!!

Ruth said...

Oh Loring! Those images are gorgeous! And yes trippy! Quite inspiring actually. Positively fascinating and elegant.

Ruth said...

I added the Lorentz attractor to my sidebar. Hallelujah.

Still said...

Meeting and fly of starlings are always very impressive... You've done smart images of them.

Bob Johnson said...

Wow, how good is that video Ruth, amazing to say the least. Your photography was also awesome, love the very first one, reminds me of the Hitchcock classic The Birds, also the one you got framed is too cool too.

Gwen Buchanan said...

I love, love, love these flocks of Starlings... Every picture I enlarged, I loved even more...

and yes that is how the starlings act isn't it... they arrive in our yard all together and they leave the same way.. never many stragglers..


.... And Then I watched the Video... Wow!!! that is not winter.. that is Paradise!!!

photowannabe said...

I was totally amazed by the video too Ruth.
I loved your pictures too. Especially the last one. Very ethereal.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Still.

Ruth said...

Bob, I love watching "Planet Earth" - the one Sigourney Weaver narrates. Such astonishing visuals!

Ruth said...

Gwen, to watch starlings paint the sky in strokes like in the video every day, imagine. I am new to starlings, but it sounds like you have had them for some time. With all that big sky you have over the bay, it must be quite a sight.

Ruth said...

Hi Sue, thank you! I've been having fun with www.picnik.com.

shicat said...

Wonderful video. I think I will probably watch it over and over until the final election results are in. Sort of like my own personal visual mantra,in fact, I think if you listen closely you can hear,Yes we can,yes we can,yes we can...

Ruth said...

Yes, Cathy, it's soft, but I can hear it.

Astrid said...

This is incedible, we have these in Holland too, amazing the noise they make, you were lucky to be a the right place in the right time.
Love your pictures.
Great video.

carl h. sr. said...

The schools of starling remind me of flocks of fish!

Ruth said...

Very lucky, Astrid. Imagine Dylan Winter, the man who made the video, gets to see and hear it every day in the winter.

Ruth said...

You're right, Carl, I hadn't thought of that! I'm guessing fish also move in "chaotic oscillations" that Loring told us about.

Loring Wirbel said...

You wouldn't believe, the number of realms where these same patterns turn up, dozens of biological areas, economic trends, musical areas. Attractors have very strong relations to fractals and self-similar patterns too. It's an underlying god-fabric of the universe, methinks, but we're not smart enough to get it yet.

freefalling said...

Extraordinary video.
I'm not sure if we have flocks of starlings here.
I know we have pairs because whenever we take the dogs to the footy oval they swoop on us.

I know it's not quite the same thing - what am I saying "not quite"? - try "nothing like" - but have you seen the jellyfish lake in palau?
http://flickr.com/photos/32126193@N00/303368760

Ruth said...

Ok, Loring, I'm going to gird up my loins and ask my nephew David about this stuff at Christmas time when he'll be here from Sydney. He works in Artificial Intelligence. The problem is, I may be able to ask a question, but no doubt my eyes will glaze over within . . . anybody's guess how quickly.

Ruth said...

Letitia, the 'footy oval'? Is that a dog walk? Oh I love your Aussie terms.

That jellyfish photo is absolutely gorgeous!

laura said...

Cool pictures, Ruth. We get huge flocks of starlings here--they fly in and fill the trees; I'd call the sound a cacophony! It's truly astounding. I'll check out the video.

Ruth said...

Laura, yes, definitely a cacopohony!

Christina said...

You are an amazing photographer. You might know this already though. : )

Ruth said...

Christina, thank you! I do love taking pictures, and it makes me happy that you enjoy them.

freefalling said...

You know - the place where you play footy (football).

Ruth said...

:D

Prasad said...

i saw the video u posted a 10 times now!!! DAMMMmm is awesome!!!

Ruth said...

Prasad, it's like a meditation, no?

Prasad said...

i dont know the rite words....but i sure can say it gives me a soothing feelin after a hard days work!!

Ruth said...

That's what I call meditation, anything that soothes and relaxes, takes you out of your mind and stress. Yay!

Peter said...

I miss the farm!

Ruth said...

The farm misses you, bo!

sm said...

威而柔,自慰套,自慰套,SM,充氣娃娃,充氣娃娃,潤滑液,飛機杯,按摩棒,跳蛋,性感睡衣,威而柔,自慰套,自慰套,SM,充氣娃娃,充氣娃娃,潤滑液,飛機杯,按摩棒,跳蛋,性感睡衣
情惑用品性易購



免費視訊聊天,辣妹視訊,視訊交友網,美女視訊,視訊交友,視訊交友90739,成人聊天室,視訊聊天室,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,情色視訊,情人視訊網,視訊美女
一葉情貼圖片區,免費視訊聊天室,免費視訊,ut聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,影音視訊聊天室


辣妹視訊,美女視訊,視訊交友網,視訊聊天室,視訊交友,視訊美女,免費視訊,免費視訊聊天,視訊交友90739,免費視訊聊天室,成人聊天室,視訊聊天,視訊交友aooyy
哈啦聊天室,辣妺視訊,A片,色情A片,視訊,080視訊聊天室,視訊美女34c,視訊情人高雄網,視訊交友高雄網,0204貼圖區,sex520免費影片,情色貼圖,視訊ukiss
網頁設計,徵信社,情侶歡愉用品

色情遊戲,寄情築園小遊戲,情色文學,一葉情貼圖片區,情惑用品性易購,情人視訊網,辣妹視訊,情色交友,成人論壇,情色論壇,愛情公寓,情色,舊情人,情色貼圖,色情聊天室,色情小說,做愛,做愛影片,性愛


情惑用品性易購,aio交友愛情館,一葉情貼圖片區,情趣用品,情侶歡愉用品

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情侶歡愉用品

網頁設計,徵信社