PhysOrg Posted March 26, 2015 Share Posted March 26, 2015 Why does it seem as if a dark band ripples through a flock of European starlings that are steering clear of a falcon or a hawk? It all lies in the birds' ability to quickly and repeatedly dip to one side to avoid being attacked. For a split second, these zigs change the view that observers on the ground have of the birds' wings to cause a so-called agitation wave. This evasive strategy is copied as quick as a flash from one neighboring bird to the next. The escape behavior underlying this was discovered in a study led by Charlotte Hemelrijk of the Centre for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies in the Netherlands and portrayed in a series of video clips. The findings are published in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Read the full article on PhysOrg Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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