Un-be-Flockin’-lievable (birds)

These are starlings:

Bonus Video:

I prefer the non-fiction birds.

Hat Tip: Analiese


  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    November 15, 2009

    The crows are starting to flock around South Minneapolis again.

  2. #2 Rich Wilson
    November 15, 2009

    I once had a walk to work that passed by a nesting crow that was extremely aggressive about keeping people away from “its” tree. I tried wearing a cap, and it literally knocked it off my head. I finally blasted it with my water bottle, after which it kept a more respectable distance.

  3. #3 davem
    November 15, 2009

    is more of the same, a regular occurrence in England.

  4. #4 abb3w
    November 15, 2009

    American passenger pigeon niche has a new tenant?

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    November 15, 2009

    abb3w, I believe this video is from Europe (could be wrong about that).

    Passenger pigeons were specialists in acorns, so niche wise they’ve bee replaced by … squirrels. And I suspect the squirrels may be behind their disappearance …. thoug I’ve not proven the connection yet.

  6. #6 Jadehawk
    November 15, 2009

    dunno about this particular video, but yes, that’s precisely how European skies look in November. I’ve seen this weird dance many times as a kid 🙂

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    November 15, 2009

    Jadehawk: I’ve seen this weird dance many times as a kid

    Are you talking about the first video or the second video????

  8. #8 Crudely Wrott
    November 16, 2009

    Well it’s fall here in Dayton, Ohio, and the starlings are doing the same flocking thing except that they’ll be heading back the other way.

    I’ve observed them gathering in impressive flocks for six or seven years now. They don’t gather as densely as the above video but the group behavior is the same.

    Up until two years ago there was a small wetland area nearby with tall trees that hosted some of the larger flocks I’ve seen locally. Now it is a large department store with several acres of parking. There are some trees left around the edges and some adjacent areas have remained untouched. The north/south bypass, I675, passes through the middle of it all.

    I was noticing this past week while returning from work that despite a reduction in trees, rookeries, there did not seem to be fewer starlings. While counting birds is dicey while driving I have the impression that the flock returns to the location not because it is a good rookery but because they know how to get there. Older generations have led younger ones there and then the younger ones have grown older and led younger ones there. I wonder if, as the older generation of ‘leaders’ dies off, the size of the flock diminishes. If so, it might indicate that a smaller and less accommodating rookery would not imprint so strongly on the memory of tomorrow’s leaders.

    Notwithstanding their behavior or my hypothesis they certainly are a most urban critter and their behavior is almost instantly recognizable as vaguely familiar, almost . . . human.

  9. #9 Crudely Wrott
    November 16, 2009

    . . . er, strike that “their behavior or” in the last paragraph. What I get for multi-tasking.

  10. #10 Jadehawk
    November 16, 2009

    Are you talking about the first video or the second video????

    err, oops. the first one :-p

  11. #11 Rob
    November 16, 2009

    how is the first video NOT proof of a Flying Spaghetti Monster?! Look at them writhe like a mass of noodles!