The Beauty of Birds Flocking Above [PICS]

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Image: Tommy Hansen

Ever since Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller The Birds, watching birds flock has never been the same. The following pictures, however, leave that association behind and instead show the remarkable skill and coordination that flying in a flock requires.


Image: Adam Baker

2. Thousands of grackles swarm around Houston’s Wortham Center at dusk.

Flocking is a collective animal behavior that can be observed in birds, fish and insects; all animals in fact, only that for some species, it is called herding, swarming, schooling or, er, summer sale.

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Image: Jerry Segraves

3. Following all the rules? A flock of red-winged blackbirds at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas.

Flocking is an instinctive behavior that follows simple rules and does not require central coordination, but whose results can be astounding: bird migrations over thousands of miles, for example, or complex structures like termite mounds. The advantages of a flock versus a single animal are that a group of animals is stronger, better protected and can hunt or feed better.

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