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Murmurations

Updated: Nov 13, 2022

During the Central Namib Bioblitz, teams of observers criss-crossed the central Namib. The eastern parts of the central Namib plains are covered with grass. We did not see many large herbivores exploiting the bounty, but we did observe many seed-feeding birds. A murmeration of Lark-like Buntings on the plains surprised us. Such large gatherings of birds are named after the "murmering" sound of many thousands of flapping wings. Murmerations of birds fly in ever-changing formations, already well-known among flocks of starlings in the northern hemisphere. This flocking behaviour is an anti-raptor defense, similar schooling of fish. The changing patterns and interweaving of individual movements confuse predators, keeping them from focusing on a single bird that could easily be picked off. There is safety in numbers.


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