No one knows why they do it. Yet each fall, thousands of starlings dance in the twilight above England and Scotland . The birds gather in shape-shifting flocks called murmurations, having migrated in the millions from Russia and Scandinavia to escape winter’s frigid bite. Scientists aren’t sure how they do it, either. The starlings’ murmurations are manifestations of swarm intelligence, which in different contexts is practiced by schools of fish, swarms of bees and colonies of ants. As far as I am aware, even complex algorithmic models haven’t yet explained the starlings’ aerobatics, which rely on the tiny birds’ quicksilver reaction time of under 100 milliseconds to avoid aerial collisions-and predators-in the giant flock.
Two young ladies were out for a late afternoon canoe ride and fortunately one of them remembered to bring her video camera. What they saw was a wonderful murmuration display, caught in the short video – URL is below. Watch the variation of color and intensity of the patterns that the birds make in proximity to one other. And take a look at the girl in the bow of the canoe watching the aerial display. Enjoy.
To our National Birds
The American Eagle
The Thanksgiving Turkey
May one give us peace in all our states
And the other a piece for all our plates
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Look! Up in the air! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! (Plop!) No, it’s definitely a bird.
According to research from British automotive supplier Halfords, red cars attract more bird droppings than any others. .
Its researchers checked out 1,140 cars in Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Bristol over two consecutive days, and found that green cars came off best, followed by silver. White vehicles fared better than black.
Eighteen percent of red cars were marked with droppings, compared with 14 percent for blue, 11 for black, seven percent for white, three percent for grey or silver and just one percent for green.
They don’t know why?
Moral of the story:
Buy a green car!
Shit – A Bird Story
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold; the bird froze up and fell to the ground in a large field. While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him!
The morals of this story are:
Not everyone who drops shit on you is your enemy.
Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
And when you’re in deep shit, keep your mouth shut!
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