Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Follow the Leader??

 I have only one Question.......Who decides who is going to be the lead bird? These are European Starlings and they can be quite numerous and very noisy. On Thanksgiving day my sons and I stood at my back door and watched a huge flock do a fly by that took all of four whole minutes. Their must have been thousands of them..it was  incredible and rather Alfred Hitchcockish. They absolutely fascinate me! If you have never seen them in a large group, you are missing a real treat.

          This is what one European Starling looks like...cute, huh?


This is what thousands look like! I took this from my front lawn and just happen to catch them in a beautiful tight grouping. They always seem to be following a lead bird, which leads me back to my original question......who decides which bird is the boss????? Food for thought...
Until next time, be kind and stay creative.
PS...My holiday decorating is coming along nicely and I will post photos when I finish. Hooray, I bought a tree yesterday and I did sweet talk a friend with a truck to delivery it to my home.

6 comments:

Aprons and More said...

I saw these birds on TV the other day...It was of the whole flock flying around! It was very cool...but it did remind me of "The Birds" (scarest movie ever...it could happen!). A little un-nerving. I can't imagine seeing them in person. Lucky you for sharing the experience with us!

Katy :)

Kate said...

Wow, what an amazing picture of the whole flock...it looks like a plume of smoke!

I'm never sure if my science-nerd input is going to brighten someone's day or rain on their parade, but fwiw: flocking is a beautiful example of an emergent behavior. I could go on at great and possibly boring length, but you can wikipedia 'flocking' to find out more--for some reason I can't just paste the link.

End of science nerd input. Great blog!!

Tweed Delights said...

Oooooh, I like that a lot - fascinating stuff! It's a bit of a work of art, isn't it! :D

Diane said...

Your view makes me miss the country!

quiltcat said...

I don't know the answer to your question, Janet, but i bet some ornithologist or other has studied it. Driving east in I-66 one morning this week, we saw 4 different groupings of starlings combine, split up, recombine, all a sort of swirling aerial ballet. Pretty cool! your picture of them is great.

quiltcat said...

Here's a really interesting article that i found about flocking behavior, especially of starlings: http://audubonmagazine.org/features0903/truenature.html