Watch “The “Art of Flying,” a Short Film Capturing the Wondrous Murmurations of the Common Starling

In the tra­di­tion of Andrew Sul­li­van’s Dish, we start the week–before it even gets a bit hectic–with a Men­tal Health break. Above, watch The Art of Fly­ing, Jan van Ijken’s short film that cap­tures the mys­te­ri­ous flights–or murmurations–of the Com­mon Star­ling. A blurb accom­pa­ny­ing the film adds a bit more con­text:

It is still unknown how the thou­sands of birds are able to fly in such dense swarms with­out col­lid­ing. Every night the star­lings gath­er at dusk to per­form their stun­ning air show. Because of the rel­a­tive­ly warm win­ter of 2014/2015, the star­lings stayed in the Nether­lands instead of migrat­ing south­wards. This gave film­mak­er Jan van IJken the oppor­tu­ni­ty to film one of the most spec­tac­u­lar and amaz­ing nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­na on earth.

Also, over at, you’ll find a longer sev­en-minute ver­sion of this film, fea­tur­ing “won­der­ful close-ups and a spec­tac­u­lar final scene.” The €2,99 fee for watch­ing that full-length film goes toward sup­port­ing van Ijken’s work as an inde­pen­dent film­mak­er.


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Relat­ed Con­tent:

A Stun­ning, Chance Encounter With Nature

The Fal­con and the Mur­mu­ra­tion: Nature’s Aer­i­al Bat­tle Above Rome

A Bird Bal­let in South­ern France

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Comments (3)
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  • Claire Jeanine Satin says:

    Won­der­ful !

  • Eber Flamenco says:

    Eber Fla­men­co Feb­ru­ary 2, 2021
    Hear’s some words for yuo: VOTE FUOR ME Eber Fla­men­co for yuor next pre­seiedent 2021 of teh UNITED STATS

    I have teh goal to make it to the straite shot to teh top! I have a dream„,too… I get on teh bus an i seee Bron­co Bama, teh Ken­nadies, Whit­ney Hoos­t­on, all teh biggest cel­e­braties of teh 90s„,teh weird kin­da Asian look­ing kid from Home Improve­mant too. He going to be my sece­trary of State. Or Diplo­mat to Asians.Alslo what­ev­er hapened two Mis­ter Coop­er? lol that was a goode show

    Leave Name blank to com­ment as Anony­mous.

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