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Mesmerizing Murmurations

Like a swooping Rorschach test in the sky . . .

MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images

 
It is hard to witness hundreds of starlings fly as one across the evening sky, swooping and diving in a highly coordinated choreography, to watch as they instantly take the shape of another animal, and not muse about the secrets that live beyond our understanding. How these birds manage the delicate balance of looking after themselves — of flying hard and fast and within inches of each other — while seeming to prioritize the goals of the greater group, almost begs us to consider where the individual stops and the group begins.

Flock Together MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty ImagesFlock Together
A Thousand Wings Beat as One MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty ImagesA Thousand Wings Beat as One Fly By Night Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesFly By Night Horse With no Name Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesHorse With no Name
Swan Song Etienne De Malglaive/Getty ImagesSwan Song Gorilla in our Midst Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesGorilla in our Midst Lean In Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesLean In
Nesting Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesNesting Porpoise Driven MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty ImagesPorpoise Driven Takeoffs and Landings Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty ImagesTakeoffs and Landings
Hello, Starling MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty ImagesHello, Starling Fly Away MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty ImagesFly Away
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