The art of flying.

Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form. — The heart sutra.

A stunning short film documenting a murmuration of starlings.

Whilst science has not yet completely explained the exact mechanism that allows unimaginable numbers of birds to respond to each other with such swirling simultaneous unity, a research team of theoretical physicists published a paper in 2012 that found that a change of direction (known as a critical transition) in one bird was reflected by the 6 or 7 birds nearest it. And so on out through the flock.

This range of 6 to 7 birds was found to provide the optimal balance between cohesiveness and the discrete, separate formations.

Short film about “murmurations”: the mysterious flights of the Common Starling. It is still unknown how the thousands of birds are able to fly in such dense swarms without colliding. Every night the starlings gather at dusk to perform their stunning air show.

Because of the relatively warm winter of 2014/2015, the starlings stayed in the Netherlands instead of migrating southwards. This gave filmmaker Jan van IJken the opportunity to film one of the most spectacular and amazing natural phenomena on earth.


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