Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

It takes less than you think to create a starling spectacular

Date:
September 9, 2010
Source:
University of York
Summary:
Hundreds of starlings flocking at dusk have become a familiar sight in towns and cities across the UK. But new research suggests that the birds react to minimal information from those nearest them to create these spectacular twilight roosting displays.

A flock of starlings.
Credit: iStockphoto/Lee Rogers

Hundreds of starlings flocking at dusk have become a familiar sight in towns and cities across the UK.

Related Articles


But new research by scientists at the University of York suggests that the birds react to minimal information from those nearest them to create these spectacular twilight roosting displays.

Researchers in the York Centre for Complex Systems Analysis (YCCSA), based in the University's Department of Biology, developed a computer model that, for the first time, reproduces aspects of real flocking. The YCCSA computer model assumed that the starlings process only a fraction of the information available to them, such as the position and heading of other birds.

The research, published online in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, builds on previous analysis of roosting displays which found that birds flying together in huge flocks react to only the seven closest birds around them.

The research was conducted by Nikolai Bode, who is on a Natural Environment Research Council studentship.

"Our work suggests limited information is an important feature in collective motion and provides a clear relationship between theoretical models of animal collective behaviour and these significant empirical findings," he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nikolai W. F. Bode, Daniel W. Franks, and A. Jamie Wood. Limited interactions in flocks: relating model simulations to empirical data. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 2010; DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2010.0397

Cite This Page:

University of York. "It takes less than you think to create a starling spectacular." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908074458.htm>.
University of York. (2010, September 9). It takes less than you think to create a starling spectacular. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908074458.htm
University of York. "It takes less than you think to create a starling spectacular." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100908074458.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins