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I didn't have a chance to follow this thread til just now but WOW thanks
for sharing the vid.

- Lore


On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 8:18 AM, Barbara Harmon <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Also learned from the Cornell blog that apparently (at least with
> Starlings) the birds are consistently coordinating with their seven nearest
> neighbors. But beyond that they are still somehow able to coordinate with
> other birds all the way across the flock... and they use the term “effective
> perceptive range" for this.
> And as you said Barry, they are typically exhibiting this behavior in
> avoidance of a predator.
>
>
> Barbara Harmon
> www.barbaraharmon.com
> www.harmon-murals.blogspot.com
> 508•430•8308
> [log in to unmask]
>
> On Jan 22, 2014, at 7:39 AM, Barry K. MacKay wrote:
>
> My favourite story about this behaviour came from artist John James
> Audubon…and we will never see its likes again, nor be able to verify what
> he claimed.
>
> As I recall he reported that he was watching an enormous flock of
> Passenger Pigeons flying by, when suddenly a Peregrine Falcon swooped down
> into them.   The flock swerved, in unison, to avoid the raptor.
>
> But was astounded Audubon was that sometime later another huge flock of
> Passenger Pigeons flew by, and the entire flock executed the same swooping
> curve as the first flock did, to avoid the falcon, except this time there
> was no falcon.   It was as if the first flock had left an invisible imprint
> that the second followed.
>
> Of course the Passenger Pigeon became officially extinct exactly one
> century ago, so the story remains forever unverified and unverifiable,
> unless observed in another species.
>
> At a local aquarium there is a perpendicular transparent, tube-like
> container, quite large, filled with Alewives, and even within those
> confines, they exhibit this synchronized schooling behaviour.  Watching
> them at close range one still can’t see how they do it.
>
> I’ve heard it suggested that there is a “lead” bird or fish or whatever
> who triggers the others, whose reflexes are far faster than our own…sort of
> like a speeded-up and multi-faceted version of “the wave” we sometimes seem
> audiences perform at sporting events, but that seems to me to be a theory
> that may satisfy our need for reductionist explanations, and yet does not
> adequately explain what we see in that video.
>
> And yes, it is a “murder” of crows.
>
> Barry
>
>
> *Barry Kent MacKay*
> *Bird Artist, Illustrator*
> Studio: (905)-472-9731
> http://www.barrykentmackay.ca
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
>  --
>
> *Lore Ruttan, *Ph.D.

Lore Ruttan Illustration <http://www.loreruttanillustration.com>

Visit my Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Paperlore

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