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!

Location: Austin, TX
Members: 35
Latest Activity: Jul 11

Discussion Forum

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

Migrating Birds Could Inspire New Military Tech

Started by Steph S. May 21. 0 Replies

Hypersonic drones, flying armored cars, space planes — these are the kinds…Continue

'Teenage' songbirds experience high mortality due to many causes, study finds

Started by Steph S. May 8. 0 Replies

Nearly one-third of songbird species across North America are…Continue

River Birds Affected by Hormone-disrupting Pollutants

Started by Steph S. Apr 29. 0 Replies

Studies have shown for some time now that endocrine disrupting substances from…Continue

Blue-Footed Boobies Declining in the Galapagos

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 28. 1 Reply

The population of blue-footed…Continue

What songbirds tell us about how we learn

Started by Steph S.. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 11. 1 Reply

When you throw a wild pitch or sing a flat note, it could be that your…Continue

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Comment by booklover on December 10, 2012 at 7:12am

oops!  I just read that Dallas had already posted about the murder of crows.  I need to read before I post!

Comment by booklover on December 10, 2012 at 7:10am

Tony, love the congress! LOL!  Also a group of crows is called a murder of crows.  Hmmmmmm.  My daughter knows a riddle about that, but I can't remember what it is.  I'll have to ask her when she wakes up.

Comment by Steph S. on December 10, 2012 at 6:27am

Cold outside today and windy.

How's everyone?

Comment by Steph S. on December 9, 2012 at 11:05pm

Yes, thanks Melinda for starting the wonderful discussion with your photo on the term murmuration. Learning is fun.

Comment by A Former Member on December 9, 2012 at 10:39pm

Murmuration is a beautiful word.

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 9, 2012 at 10:34pm

Dallas, the video you suggested for us was titled, 

amazing starlings murmuration (full HD) -www.keepturningleft.co.uk

I very much like the music, Pachelbel's Canon in D.

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.

 

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