Iridescent Starlings

You might have seen a flock of birds swoop down over a corn field or a meadow and then quickly change patterns and fly chaotically in a zigzag motion.  In fact this peculiar behavior by these birds has been the subject of fascination not just for birdwatchers but for scientists as well, who call it ‘murmuration’.   If you are interested in learning more about scale-free behavioral correlations and how flocks of birds respond rapidly to perturbations, then click here

The European Starling was introduced into North America towards the end of the 19th century.  However within a short time the starlings not only adapted to their new habitat but their population grew exponentially.  About the size of a robin, these black birds have unmistakable spots on their bodies especially during Fall/Winter and have iridescent greenish blue hues.  I happened to notice a flock of Starlings that had taken a break from their acrobatics and were resting on a tree branch.  Here are some pictures taken with Canon T2i, 100-400 mm lens, f/5.6, 1/1000 s, ISO 200 at the Celery Bog in West Lafayette.

European Starling

European Starling

European Starling side adn front pose

 

European starling eyes closed

 

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