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Birds of a feather?

  1. Oct 12, 2017 #1


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    I am almost certain I just saw a single starling flocking with about a hundred pigeons.

    The pigeons were doing their flocking thing, wheeling and pitching about the building tops, and a starling was right in there among them the whole way, as they swooped and dove through several passes before landing on some wires.

    The one thing we have more of around here than pigeons is starlings, so it's not like he was lost.

    I've never heard of birds of different feathers flocking together. Is this common?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2017 #2


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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  4. Oct 13, 2017 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Flocking is an emergent behavior - the term for birds. The same set of "rules" appears to apply to schools of fish or pods of cetaceans.

    After seeing his posts in the "I hate the git thread", it looks like @DaveC426913 is a person who might like the algorithmic section here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flocking_(behavior). This is a git-free link BTW :smile:

    Flocking for larger birds (V's of ducks for example) is a way of reducing drag, based more in Bioenergetics. Smaller birds which have big problems with aerial predators will flock the same as small schooling fishes - a predator avoidance behavior. Flocks are not species specific as @Bandersnatch pointed out.
  5. Oct 26, 2017 #4
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