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Birds of a feather flock together: the science of starling murmurations

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Park Campus, TC014

University of Gloucestershire

The Park

Cheltenham

GL50 2RH

United Kingdom

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Professor Anne Goodenough explores the phenomenon of starlings swirling in the skies during autumn and winter.

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Every autumn and winter, the skies play host to the incredible sight of birds moving in unison in huge, 3D, swirling flocks. These impressive displays are caused by up to 750,000 individual starlings that come together to form one of the natural world’s truly great spectacles. As well as these being visually stunning, the simultaneous beating of thousands of pairs of wings also produces a distinctive sound - hence this phenomenon being called a “murmuration”.

In this talk, we explore the science behind murmurations – the geography of where it happens, the physics of how the birds move (without crashing into one another), the biology of why it happens, and the meteorology of how weather influences the displays.

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Date and Time

Location

Park Campus, TC014

University of Gloucestershire

The Park

Cheltenham

GL50 2RH

United Kingdom

View Map

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