Bird-shaped murmuration

This lovely and rare picture, a bird-shaped murmuration of starlings, is for real, and was entered (and won) the Vogelwarte annual contest of bird photography.

The details:

Common Starling | Daniel Biber
“In the northeast of Spain, hundreds of thousands of Common Starlings gather at nighttime to sleep. While I was watching this spectacle, the billowing flock suddenly took the shape of a huge flying bird. What luck!”
 h/t: Grania

31 Comments

  1. Merilee
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Magnifique!

  2. Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Fractabulous.

    • Rita
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      🙂

  3. GBJames
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Enough to make you murmur.

  4. glen1davidson
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    They’re not very imaginative.

    Glen Davidson

    • Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. I’ve done similar things myself.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      On close examination, they obviously plagiarized M.C. Escher.

  5. GBJames
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    The other photos from the Vogelwarte contest are also pretty amazing.

  6. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    It’s a miracle!
    We have lots of starlings, and they do assemble in noisy flocks, but they don’t seem to have the populations to make the huge murmurations.
    Mark sad.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Meta-fowl.

  8. Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Incredible shot! The magic of fortuity.

  9. Ken Pidcock
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    We are pattern seeking critters, are we not?

  10. Mark R.
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Very cool, talk about life imitating art…

  11. Neil Wolfe
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    What an amazing photo!

    It must rain droppings under those big murmurations.

  12. Jim Cliborn
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    At arm’s length the entire murmuration looks like a bird flying off to the right!

  13. countrylifewithkatie
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    That is soooooo cool!!!😄

  14. Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Lovely,

  15. Posted March 8, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    There is a commercial that shows a school of fish forming the shape of a big fish to scare off a shark, but that’s CGI (Computer Generated Imagery)like you see in the movies. This is the real thing. Crazy.

  16. Eduardo
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    You wanted proof? Tell me God doesn’t exist now, you heathens.

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted March 8, 2018 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      OK, God doesn’t exist.

      (Do I get a prize?)

  17. Matthew North
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    This has got to be one of the most beautiful and poetically powerful images of all time.

    LIFE!!

  18. Posted March 8, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Pareidolia or photoshop? How to know?

    • Diane G.
      Posted March 9, 2018 at 1:31 am | Permalink

      Yeah, sadly, I trust no photo any more…

  19. rickflick
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m freaked!!

  20. Mike Anderson
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Skynet becomes self aware.

  21. Posted March 8, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    majestic !

  22. Jay
    Posted March 8, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Bayesian statistician says: “Photoshop.”

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 9, 2018 at 4:00 am | Permalink

      Why?

      Watch any video of murmurations and they take up all manner of shapes. This shape is just as likely and possible as any other. There’s nothing inherently improbable about it.

      The photographer was just lucky to be watching at the right moment.

      cr

  23. Toni Jordon
    Posted March 9, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t god wonderful?! LOL

  24. Posted March 10, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    That’s Nature for Ya! Always a Thriller! Very lucky photographer had that eye to the sky at the very best of times! 🙂 ❤

  25. Posted April 26, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Wowza! A bird of birds? Too cool


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