Friday, March 8, 2013

About the Falcon and Starling

Last summer I wrote about starlings.  There is a video included in that post which shows their stunning mass flight displays called mumurations.  I had not read an explanation when I wrote that post.  Here is a good one, published in the current issue of the magazine "Living Bird".  It is written by Grainger Hunt with spectacular photographs by Nick Dunlop. Hunt is a falconer, with a Master's thesis on Peregrines and a doctorate in Zoology. As a pilot, he has radio-tracked Peregrines on long-distance migrations and conducted aerial surveys of ranging, survival, and habitat selection.  Luckily for readers like me, Hunt teamed up with Dunlop to illustrate his no-nonsense theory of individual self-interest driving the startling behavior of the scruffy starling.  Dunlop is a wildlife photographer and naturalist who spends hours in cold windy fields, snowy forests and wherever else he can capture "wild" and "natural" on his lens.  He has done it here.

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