Wednesday Vignette – Birds of a feather…

This week features a flashback to this past summer. I found the birds absolutely fascinating. Large flocks of them darting by at high speeds, and then – in a fraction of a second – they all shifted direction simultaneously. I don’t think it could have been choreographed to a higher degree of exactness than it was – the whole maneuver was flawless – over and over and over again. I’d be embarrassed to tell you just how many photos were taken of these birds, but here are a few. And, if you happen to know how these birdbrains work (and I mean that in a good way) – please share your wisdom. I’d love to know!




About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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26 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – Birds of a feather…

  1. I don’t know how they work, but once had a similar mad clicking session. Good results her

  2. FlowerAlley says:

    It is called murmuration or flocking. Each bird follows simple traffic rules of space and speed. It is mesmerizing to watch.
    I am always amazed when individual animals in a group act as one, like schooling fish. I would have taken many pictures also. If I had done a video of it there would be oohs and aahs in it.

    • annamadeit says:

      Murmuration… must try to remember that. Wish we followed traffic rules with the same diligence. I mean, you never see birds crash into each other… Thanks for the explanation, Becca!

  3. Alan @ it's not work, it's gardening! says:

    Here’s a great (long) article describing it, and some of the recent discoveries:

    Skip down to the paragraph that starts “In the coastal wetlands of southwestern Denmark…” if you want to get to the modern discoveries. Be prepared to read several paragraphs though. Fascinating stuff!

  4. Alison says:

    It is fascinating how birds know to fly like this in formation. I’ve seen photos of this Oregon beach in other blogs. I’m always intrigued by that rock formation in the distance. Here’s a link to my Wednesday Vignette today:

  5. I have to stop and watch too, when birds do that it’s fascinating! My vignette is firmly rooted in the current season, no looking back at summer (of course the sunny weather we’re having makes that easy)…

  6. Evan says:

    I have no idea how those birds accomplish such swift, synchronized movement, but I enjoy watching them, too. My vignette is all about fall.

  7. Elvis says:

    I love seeing this flight action at beaches and over water. I’ve seen a few videos out on the internet of large flocks of starlings in a murmuration – they are simply mesmerizing. Your images are so soothing, and that’s the theme of my contribution to your Wednesday meme today. Thanks for hosting so my garden can provide a little peaceful reverie for me in the middle of our exciting – but slow – patio project.

  8. Oh, that is amazing to watch, isn’t it? One day, as I was driving along the highway, I had to concentrate to keep my eyes on the road as a large flock of birds did this overhead. Lovely photos! Here’s my post: I will try to join in more in the months ahead. I enjoy this meme! Thanks!

  9. Kris P says:

    I love seeing birds flying in formation. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen as many as your photos show – I’d have been clicking away too (assuming that I wasn’t kicking myself for not having a camera). I seldom see birds en masse over the harbor – too much activity below maybe or perhaps the circling red-tailed hawks put them off. My Wednesday Vignette is fixated on sunrise (again):

    • annamadeit says:

      I think it would be difficult to photograph birds with a busy harbor as background. I got lucky with the relatively monochromatic backdrop of sea and sky.

  10. mattb325 says:

    Such a lovely photo – the rock formation is just amazing!

  11. rickii says:

    When the Vaux swifts descend to roost in the chimney at Chapman school, it looks like a rewind of smoke rising. “Murmuration”…bloggers are so smart. Throw almost anything out into the blogosphere and the learning begins.
    My vignette this week is hooked up with bloom day:

    • annamadeit says:

      Yeah, that was a new word for me too – I like the sound of it! Almost embarrassed to admit it, but I have yet to see those Swifts down at Chapman. Next year…

  12. Great shots! I love watching birds fly in formations/murmurations too. My vignette this week is about birds too:

  13. Linda Reeder says:

    Hi. I hopped over from Bonnie Lassie, and saw your photos, which have to have been taken at Rockaway Beach on the Oregon coast. We have a cabin right there by the creek!

  14. Luisa says:

    Birds are astonishing! Flight and migration seem like miracles to me. This video made the rounds a few years ago:

    And here is my vignette:

    • annamadeit says:

      I remember seeing that video when it went around. As incredible now as it was then. Wow Luisa – thanks for putting it in front of me again. It is truly amazing…

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