Birding, Birders and all things Birds

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Birding, Birders and all things Birds

This group is for birding, birders and bird enthusiasts. One can be a pet owner, researcher, Ornithologist, birder that is advanced or novice. Anyone interested in birds!

Members: 35
Latest Activity: Sep 26

Discussion Forum

Migratory shorebirds could face extinction within a decade

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Joan Denoo Sep 26. 1 Reply

Migrating shorebirds that travel to Australia from Siberia are under serious threat from development, which is destroying the vital feeding grounds they rely on during the epic journey.Director of Deakin University’s Centre for Integrative Ecology…Continue

Migratory shorebirds could face extinction within a decade

Started by Steph S. Sep 26. 0 Replies

Migrating shorebirds that travel to Australia from Siberia are under serious threat from development, which is destroying the vital feeding grounds they rely on during the epic journey.Director of Deakin University’s Centre for Integrative Ecology…Continue

Concentrated Solar Ravages Birds

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Aug 25. 2 Replies

Emerging solar plants scorch birds in mid-airI'm a solar power enthusiast, but this turns my stomach. We need a different approach.IVANPAH…Continue

Tags: mortality, bird, , concentrated, solar, arrays"

Climate Change and blood-sucking eye worms

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Aug 16. 1 Reply

Climate Change raises the frequency of heavy rainfall events. If the sudden crash of quail in Texas in 2010 is a symptom of how deluges impact wild birds, we are in trouble.…Continue

Tags: quail, blood-sucking eye worms

Bird nests from my yard

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by BarbaraSATX Jul 25. 1 Reply

Continue

Petey the Puffin tells the future

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jun 2. 2 Replies

Here's Petey the Puffin, trying to swallow a butterfish that's far too large for his throat.... the little grey fluff ball... keeps tossing his head back, trying to choke down the…Continue

Tags: tipping point, phytoplankton collapse, Gulf of Maine, Climate Destabilization, Petey the Puffin

Pictures from my Coastal birding tip

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Steph S. May 25. 6 Replies

Recently I went to view the Whooping Cranes at a Wildlife refuge - putting up a few pics for everyone.…Continue

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Comment by Joan Denoo on December 9, 2012 at 10:12pm

This has been a great adventure into the lives and flights of starlings and all the factors that are involved in their behaviors. Nature, with all its complexities, constantly amazes me. With all the colors, shapes, personalities in the avian world alone could keep one occupied for a lifetime. 

Dallas, thanks for the great wealth of information you supplied, and the introduction of the new word, "murmuration". A real keeper. Your paragraph about models of flocking behavior seems it would fit when trying to get a group of people on board for a project:

"Basic models of flocking behavior are controlled by three simple rules:

  1. Separation - avoid crowding neighbors (short range repulsion)
  2. Alignment - steer towards average heading of neighbors
  3. Cohesion - steer towards average position of neighbors (long range attraction)

Tony, the "congress of baboons" fits perfectly. Maybe we can laugh a little more as we try to influence votes of our representatives. Perhaps ribbing them a bit when they make a "bad" call. Like, we can write to them saying, "I realize you are a congress of baboons but .... ". Well, that probably wouldn't get us anywhere, but it might keep us from getting so up-tight about their absurdities. 

Melinda, see what you started with your wonderful photo of "murmuration" of starling photo! A delightful adventure. Thanks. 

Comment by Steph S. on December 9, 2012 at 10:09pm

Joan, Dallas and Tony thanks for all the wonderful posts.

Been busy - so I got behind.

Thanks! Very much appreciated.

Comment by A Former Member on December 9, 2012 at 8:35pm

Joan: Your word "murmuration" is new to me. Here I got the to encyclopedia ... "Murmuration of starlings: a flock—Lydgate,", "

"A colony of beavers, a chattering of choughs, a gang of elk, a business of ferrets, a leap of leopards, a pride of peacocks, a sneak of weasels, a murmuration of starlings, a scurry of squirrels, a charm of hummingbirds and an unkindness of ravens.
Yes, go to your library and check out the book An Exaltation of Larks. It gives all the most common collective nouns. 
My favorites are a murder or crows and a beauty of models. Many of the ones you listed are new to me, or I've forgotten about them. I like an unkindness of ravens. 
Comment by A Former Member on December 9, 2012 at 8:28pm

PART 3

Basic models of flocking behavior are controlled by three simple rules:

  1. Separation - avoid crowding neighbors (short range repulsion)
  2. Alignment - steer towards average heading of neighbors
  3. Cohesion - steer towards average position of neighbors (long range attraction)

With these three simple rules, the flock moves in an extremely realistic way, creating complex motion and interaction that would be extremely hard to create otherwise.

The basic model has been extended in several different ways since Reynolds proposed it. For instance, Delgado-Mata et al. [2] extended the basic model to incorporate the effects of fear. Olfaction was used to transmit emotion between animals, through pheromones modelled as particles in a free expansion gas. Hartman and Benes [3] introduced a complementary force to the alignment that they call the change of leadership. This steer defines the chance of the boid to become a leader and try to escape. Hemerlijk and Hildenbrandt [4] used attraction, alignment and avoidance and extended this with a number of traits of real starlings: first, birds fly according to fixed wing aerodynamics, while rolling when turning (thus losing lift), second they coordinate with a limited number of interaction neighbours of 7 (like in real starlings), third, they try to stay above a sleeping site (like starlings do at dawn) and when they happen to move outwards the sleeping site, they return to it by turning, fourth, they move at relative fixed speed. The authors showed that the specifics of flying behaviour as well as large flocksize and low number of interaction partners were essential to the creation of the variable shape of flocks of starlings.

Comment by A Former Member on December 9, 2012 at 8:28pm

PART 2

Swarming is a well-known behaviour in many animal species from marching locusts to schooling fish to flocking birds. Emergent structures are a common strategy found in many animal groups: colonies of ants, mounds built by termites, swarms of bees, shoals/schools of fish, flocks of birds, and herds/packs of mammals.

 

Flocking behavior is the behavior exhibited when a group of birds, called a flock, are foraging or in flight. There are parallels with theshoaling behavior of fish, the swarming behavior of insects, and herd behavior of land animals.

From the perspective of the mathematical modeller, "flocking" is the collective motion of a large number of self-propelled entities and is a collective animal behavior exhibited by many living beings such as birdsfishbacteria, and insects.[1] It is considered an emergent behavior arising from simple rules that are followed by individuals and does not involve any central coordination.

Comment by A Former Member on December 9, 2012 at 8:28pm

Joan: I wonder what goes on in their brains that makes them possible to fly so closely together and not crash together and drop from the sky? Two flocks fly side by side in swirls and blend and separate again. It is a fantastic thing to watch.

It's called an emergence. Here are some various excerpts from Wikipedia. They are too long to contain in one comment, so I will continue with 2 or 3 until I get it all in:

PART 1

philosophysystems theoryscience, and artemergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions. Emergence is central to the theories of integrative levels and of complex systems.

 

Life is a major source of complexity, and evolution is the major process behind the varying forms of life. In this view, evolution is the process describing the growth of complexity in the natural world and in speaking of the emergence of complex living beings and life-forms, this view refers therefore to processes of sudden changes in evolution.

Comment by Tony Carroll on December 9, 2012 at 7:57pm

Joan, love them all. How descriptive and evocative language can be. People can be so literal, and yet find whimsy in unusual ways. I mean, physicists say quarks have color and flavor. The flavors are up, down, strange, charm, bottom, and top. Makes me smile to think of some straight laced physicists coming up with these words.

Another that I love, crepsicular rays. Also called 'The Rays of Buddha'. Poetic and whimisical.

Back to animals (and something that might explain what happens in Washington D.C.), is the following;

LMAO!

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 9, 2012 at 7:25pm

Dallas, I don't remember seeing this before and am so glad to watch those incredible swarms blend and separate, and swoop and swarm. I wonder what goes on in their brains that makes them possible to fly so closely together and not crash together and drop from the sky? Two flocks fly side by side in swirls and blend and separate again. It is a fantastic thing to watch. Your word "murmuration" is new to me. Here I got the to encyclopedia ... "Murmuration of starlings: a flock—Lydgate,", "

"A colony of beavers, a chattering of choughs, a gang of elk, a business of ferrets, a leap of leopards, a pride of peacocks, a sneak of weasels, a murmuration of starlings, a scurry of squirrels, a charm of hummingbirds and an unkindness of ravens.
"Some nouns of assemblage are based on bird vocalizations, such as a chattering of choughs and a murmuration of starlings.
"A murmuration of starlings, a tower of giraffes, a bloat of hippopotamuses, a cackle of hyenas, a convocation of eagles and a charm of finches.

Comment by A Former Member on December 9, 2012 at 11:02am

That reminds me of this video. I'm sure you've all seen it before by now (I think I've posted it at least once), but it is still worth watching from time to time. 

Comment by Steph S. on December 9, 2012 at 10:59am

Those are wonderful pictures Tony.

I love that picture Booklover - thanks so much!

Thanks Joan for the link to Papua New Guinea. Enjoyed it.

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