Photographer Peter Lau captured the stunning moment a starling murmuration in the shape of a duck occurred. A murmuration is the phenomenon of hundreds of birds flying together to create discernible patterns in the sky.
Lau caught the birds creating the image of a perfect duck outline in the West Yorkshire, U.K. skies.
“No CGI, no Photoshop, just good luck,” Lau told BBC News.
Lau took his grandchildren to Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve to see the incredible event.
“So glad they saw this amazing sight,” Lau told BBC News. “Perhaps a memory that will live with them for years. Some interesting shapes presented.”
This isn’t the only time a murmuration has formed a familiar shape at Fairburn Ings. Another photographer captured the birds creating a massive Christmas stocking in December.
According to NPR, starlings tend to form groups of seven to optimize their senses. When the birds are faced with “uncertainty” during navigation (like unfamiliar environments), numerous groups of seven come together to create a massive flock (ranging from 440 to 2,600 birds). This allows the birds to remain a cohesive unit without any birds flying astray in the confusion.
“In following this role of seven, then, the birds are part of a dynamic system in which the parts combine to make a whole with emergent properties — and a murmuration results,” NPR stated.
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