Starlings Flocking Before Roosting
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(Video has no Sound) Scientists have uncovered a simple rule that explains how thousands of starlings flock in formation. The reasons they are able to fly with precision in vast numbers, tumbling and banking in unison and without colliding, has puzzled scientists. (continued below)

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Now it turns out that the secret is for each bird to track seven others, says a report by "Starlings in Flight" - a European project involving biologists, physicists, and economists. The scientists wanted to find out how flocks remain so incredibly cohesive - never leaving a bird isolated - when under attack by a bird of prey. It was previously assumed that each bird interacts with all birds within a certain distance. But the new observations show that each bird keeps under control a fixed number of neighbours - seven other starlings - irrespective of their distance, which is the secret of how they stick together. from: UK Telegraph