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.