Hundred of thousands, sometimes millions of tiny red-billed queleas fly together in flocks creating clouds of movement called murmurations. How do they do it? How do they not bump into each other? How do they know where the bird next to them is going to go? It’s Nature’s most fabulous work of art and it’s been mesmerising us here at Londolozi.
What limited scientific understanding we have of it tells us that the queleas move by a system called scale-free correlation, or by three seemingly counter-intuitive principles of cohesion, separation and alignment. Basically the birds are pulling together to stay as a group whilst also pushing apart so that individuals don’t crash into each other, but they’re doing it at the most incredible speeds.
As they come down to drink, they surge over and around each other, creating an astounding noise as the collective impact of their tiny wings beat together, making the sum of the whole so much greater than its parts.
Words don’t do it justice, but the video below will show you what we mean.
I think that what moves us when we watch these spectacles is the understanding that somewhere at our very essence we are like them. We were born to move and work together as a whole, whilst staying deeply connected to ourselves and the natural world around us. As each individual becomes truly aligned with themselves, so then does the entire group. As we give ourselves to that whole, we regain our sense of belonging. Then as a collective we begin to create magical, mesmerising patterns of our own.
The question is: what whole do you choose to form a part of? And what fractals and frequencies do you wish to create? Humanity alone has the power to choose from this infinite well of possibility.