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Ever wonder how flocks of birds can turn in mid flight all at the same time?

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posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 02:42 PM
Ever wonder how giant flocks of birds travelling at very fast speed all turn and swoop all at the same time in such synchrony? Or am I the only one ?
It makes me think that they are all connected some how mentally or like the quantum theory of how subatomic particles can instantaneously communicate with each other no matter how far apart. i would like to hear other peoples thoughts. thanks!

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 02:48 PM
Hundredth Monkey Effect.

Makes me wonder how many humans it takes to subconsciously change the world.

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 02:50 PM
Animals have what i would call a groupthink.
A collective conciousness of sorts. Much like the 100th monkey experiment.

Almost like a herd mentality?

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 02:52 PM
I noticed that too. I think it's cute.

Then you get two that sway off from the flock and sit on a rooftop together and it looks like there just sitting there talking. Wonder what they talk about.

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 02:55 PM
Here is a pretty good explanation on it and the references to back it up.

Observation shows that there are no leaders (at least not for more than a few seconds at a time), since different birds will be at the front of the flock every time it changes direction. Research by Wayne Potts, published in the journal Nature in 1984, helped explain how flock movements are initiated and coordinated. Potts, through a frame-by-frame analysis of high-speed film of sandpiper flocks, found that any individual can initiate a flock movement, which then propagates through the flock in a wave radiating out from the initiation site. These "maneuver waves" could move in any direction through the flock, including from back to front. However, the flock usually only responded to birds that banked into the flock, rather than away from it. Since birds turning away from the flock run the risk of being separated from it and getting picked off by the predator, others will not follow them. Besides its obvious benefits for individuals, this rule helps prevent indecision by the flock and permits it to respond rapidly to attack.

Once one of these waves began, Potts found that it spread through the flock far more rapidly than could be explained by the reaction times of individual birds. A bird's mean startle reaction time to a light flash as measured in the laboratory was 38 milliseconds, but maneuver waves spread through the flock between birds at a mean speed of less than 15 milliseconds. However, the first birds to respond to an initiator took 67 milliseconds to react. Potts proposed that birds farther away from the initiation site were able to see the wave approaching them, and could "get set" to respond before it actually reached them. He dubbed this the "chorus line hypothesis," in analogy to Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall who can see and anticipate an approaching high leg kick when it is still well down the line. Films of human chorus lines show that rehearsed maneuvers, initiated without warning, propagate down the line at less than 108 milliseconds, almost twice as fast as the human visual reaction time of 194 milliseconds.

Flock Movement
edit on 3/15/12 by Vasa Croe because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 03:04 PM
This same effect can happen to humans as well.
Have you seen any of the japanese crowd pranks? It's instinctual. Fish do it too.
Skip to the last one, from 1:39 on.

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 03:08 PM
I think it is very amusing that some humans honestly believe they can explain behaviour like this.

I am very blessed because I have large flocks of starlings that pass by almost daily. Its amazing watching them. There are many large trees nearby where they gather. they arrive in waves.
a bird does not have to slow down when it is landing on a tree. when these huge flocks land at once they do not have stop and wonder where to park. they just land. they don't think, they don't shout at their neighbour, they land. they land in the trees and the noise starts. the chattering is crazy. every single bird wants to have their say. kinda reminds me of humans. the noise can be defeaning. the only difference is, the starlings have learned more than us. they have learned there come a point where everyone needs to shut up.

at some point, without any warning, every bird stops talking at the exact same moment. silence falls. then the explosion happens. every bird rises from the trees as ONE. this happens as soons as the silence falls. they move as ONE. they change direction as ONE at unbelievable speed. they become ONE in flight.

when you are outside and they pass overhead sometimes they are moving their wings, sometimes they are gliding. but i am almost certain that i can pick up a vibration from them.

i wonder what might happen if every human on this planet could stop talking , stop thinking, just be quiet , all at the same time, I wonder what we could achieve ????

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 03:13 PM
reply to post by HODOSKE

When airplanes fly in formation they stop paying attention to their normal course of flight, and they only pay attention to the plane they are in formation with. In that way, if you can imagine layers and layers of airplanes in formation, all watching one other plane's wingtip, and then the lead plane turns, each of the successive planes would turn in formation and the entire "flock" would follow uniformly. I suspect this is how the birds do it also. Although, their reaction time is much quicker, and that can probably be attributed to their very high metabolism, and keen eyesight, and instinct for flying.

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 03:14 PM
I all ways thought it was the magnetic field. Birds and fish do it, birds and fish all so migrate and know witch direction north south east and west is. I think the magnetic field has a flow similar to water or the wind breeze and they just fallow that. If you notice they are not fallowing each other because they all change at the exact same time.

Maybe it is a collective mind. With a topic such as this I do not think you can get a straight answer because of the powers that be. If its a collective mind the powers that be wont want us to know about it. So who really knows other than the scientist conducting the experiments.

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 03:52 PM
My experience with birds tends to side with the article. I also have noticed that flocking well is acquired with time.

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