A flock of birds. A murder of crows. A parliament of owls. The English language certainly provides descriptive terms for collections of birds. Perhaps one of the most interesting collective nouns is a murmuration. This term describes a gathering of starlings, and Vimeo user Sophie Windsor Clive was lucky enough to experience such a murmuration on the River Shannon in Ireland.
Clive recorded the amazing phenomenon where thousands of starlings are in flight, with one bird trying to copy the movement of the other. What results is a collections of wonderfully swirly, hypnotic patterns. It’s a breathtaking sight, you must see it.
What looks like a mating dance is actually a form of survival says The Telegraph. Starlings are prey for other larger birds and to avoid being the next meal, the starlings seek safety in the flock. They fight to stay away from the edge, because it’s easier predatory birds to snatch them up from there.