Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Murmurations


Came across these wonderful pictures recently - the work of photographer Paolo Patrizi. They are of the flocks of starlings that perform fantastic flights of fancy over Rome.


It is thought that they flock and shape shift in this spectacular way to protect themselves from predators such as hawks and falcons. 


Scientists studying these murmurations have discovered that the starlings switch place in the flock and share the duties of being at the front, sides and back where they are more vulnerable and prone to being picked off by their prey. 


Beautiful as the flight patterns they create are, many in Rome dislike the starlings because of the their droppings which are corrosive to buildings and cars. 


As a result The Lega Italiana Protezione (the anti-starling brigade), roam the city frightening off the birds with megaphones.


Harmful as their droppings may be, I am sure if they were to frighten the starlings off permanently then they would sorely miss this natural, beautiful phenomena.


www.paolopatrizi.com