Each winter millions of starlings migrate to Rome, where they form enormous murmurations in the sky above. The ephemeral and amorphous displays are driven by each bird responding to its neighbor’s motions. But the slight delay in individual responses gives the flock as a whole a wave-like, fluid appearance. Behaviors like this help protect the starlings from predators while they search out places to roost.
As neat as the displays are, though, they come with some real downsides, as the latter part of this video reveals. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to park my car outside in that storm! (Video credit: BBC Earth)