Falcon Hunts Starling Murmuration (video)
I had a great time making this three-minute movie of a falcon hunting a spectacular starling murmuration right in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. A murmuration is a massive gathering of starlings. There are so many birds flying they look sometimes like dark snow falling or a sky full of shooting stars. Other times the flock forms strange helix-like shapes, and it’s hard to believe it isn’t a giant organism with a single brain. One evening as I watched, a peregrine falcon swooped in, looking for dinner.
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A peregrine is a usually an effective predator of birds on the wing. But in the on-going evolutionary offense-defense dance of predator and prey, the starling murmuration throws the falcon off and thwarts its ability to kill. Fascinating.
To see starlings as individuals rather than as members of a great, heaving cauldron of birds, you may enjoy:
Eating and Keeping Cool in NYC Heat Wave, Fledgling Style
And for some raw footage of the starlings gathering in downtown Kansas City, watch Murmuration of Starlings in Kansas City.Explore posts in the same categories: 2013, Birds, Fall, In the City, Seasons, Summer, Wildlife/Natural History comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.