Pigeons and Starlings in Flight

Watching a flock of city pigeons in flight can be mesmerizing. Here is my first attempt to capture a flock in flight, wheeling and circling over 110th Street and Broadway.  Is it my imagination or does the flock grow, attracting other birds to fly with it as if by centrifugal force? Look closely at around the 35 second mark and then again around 42 seconds. Strange and wonderful.

And for a more spectacular vision of birds in flight, watch this video of a murmuration of European starlings soaring above the River Shannon in Ireland.

Starlings frequently gather in huge flocks, and then fly together, making incredible patterns in the sky. For another look with a bit of an explanation, watch the longer video below from England.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2012, Birds, In the City, Seasons, Wildlife/Natural History, Winter

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4 Comments on “Pigeons and Starlings in Flight”


  1. Great videos. It’s so amazing how they sync together in flight. They kind of make me a little dizzy though.

  2. Wild_Bill Says:

    Clearly there is no shortage of birds in the city. They seem to look a buildings as their own domain, like they were cliffs. Sort of what the peregrines do, right? I think there are more falcons in cities now than in rural areas. Nature adapting to humans.

    • Deb Reitman Says:

      Built to fly, I’ll bet they enjoy the breeziness.
      Also, there may be bugs involved. Food resources and fun and enough to share.
      Birds murmur, people tweet!


    • No shortage of birds is putting it mildly, when it comes to NYC pigeons (aka rock doves)! One might not immediately think of buildings as being like cliffs, but to pigeons and peregrines, the similarity for nesting and roosting has led to their great success in urban environments. Fascinating! I’ve been struck also by the falcon-like shape of the rock dove’s wings, the sharp bend at the wrist. Both species are champion flyers.


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