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These aerial ballets have only been performed in North America for the past 120 years or so. European Starlings are an introuduced species in the western hemisphere. Their presence here is due to a man named Eugene Schieffelin. Schieffelin was a rather prosperous Englishman who moved to New York City around 1880. He thought it would be wonderful if Central Park had populations of all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare's plays. The first Nike Lebron 11 Away Buy

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I have European Starlings on my mind. I have been watching some of the large flocks (called murmurations) of starlings wheeling throught the air around dusk as they prepare to go to roost for the night. Nike Kyrie 1 Colorways Release Date

Ballerini and Cavagna used a series of interlinked cameras to record murmurations in flight. A computer assimilated Nike Lebron 14 Release Date

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I'm sure you have seen this behavior too. The flocks form in the fall after the breeding season and will persist until next spring.

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In addition, tarlings are cavity nesters and their aggressive battles for nesting cavities has negatively affected native cavity nesters. Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows and woodpeckers are birds, which clearly have declined as starlings increased. Competition for cavities by starlings has affected other cavity nesters as well like Tufted Titmice and nuthatches. Providing nestboxes with diameters too small for starlings to enter can ameliorate the problem.

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Flying together seems to confer protection from aerial predators like falcons or accipiters, much like small marine fish flock as protection against barracudas. The idea is that the many individuals are confusing to the predator.

The researchers easily disproved the notion that there is a leader in the flock. Rather, birds seem to follow a couple of rules: fly in the same direction as your neighbors and keep your neighbors by your side rather than in front or behind. Like most birds with eyes set on the side of the head, starlings have a blind spot behind the head and directly in front as well. The best vision is off to the side. We know that starlings can change their direction in 100 milliseconds!

European Starlings Maine Birds

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species he tried to introduce was the European Starling. He introduced around 100 birds in 1890 and 1891. His introduction was far more successful than he could ever have imagined. From those 100 birds, a population of more than 200 Nike Zoom Matumbo 2 million birds now stretches across the continent.

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The videotapes clearly showed that the spacing of the birds in the murmuration is not uniform. Birds in the middle of the flock are spaced closer together. Furthermore, birds change their position in the flock, sometimes on the outside and sometimes moving in.

the data from the cameras to produce a three dimensional map of all the birds in the flock.

Woe unto the bird or fish that turns right when all the others turn left in the presence of a predator. It becomes easy pickings for the predator. So, the safest portion of a flying murmuration is in the middle. It's not surprising that there is a tendency of birds on the edge to flying toward the center. This movement has been termed selfish flock behavior

A flock in flight seems to have a collective mind of its own as the birds change direction often in unison. It is remarkable that birds don't fly into each other as they perform their aerobatic maneuvers. Thanks to the work of two Italian ornithologists, Dr. Michele Ballerini and Dr. Andrea Cavagna, we have a better understanding of the synchronized flight of these murmurations.

The introduction of starlings has had negative impacts on our native birds. A starlings all purpose bill allows it to take a wide variety of food (seeds, fruit, invertebrates) . Starlings can compete for food with many types of birds.

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