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Natural World

Incredible video shows flock of birds crashing into the ground

March 10, 2022 | Comment icon 11 comments



The birds crashed straight into the ground. Image Credit: Twitter / Facebook / YouTube
A CCTV camera captured the bizarre moment a huge flock of birds flew straight into the pavement.
Moving like a huge plume of black smoke, this enormous flock of hundreds of yellow-headed blackbirds was filmed hitting the ground in the Alvaro Obregon area of Cuauhtemoc, Mexico.

The incident, which took place last month, resulted in many of the birds being killed on impact, while others managed to stop just in the nick of time before hitting the ground themselves.

Now according to a new study by researchers at Harvard University, the most likely explanation for this peculiar behavior is a case of 'follow the leader' with the lead bird either being startled or mistaking something on the ground for a pool of water and the other birds all blindly following it down.
The researchers blamed increased urbanisation and noted that incidents like this will likely happen more often in the future as more natural land is replaced with streets and buildings.

"They're not looking very distant; they're actually following their closest neighbor in the flock so basically taking cues on where to move based on their closest neighbor," said ornithologist Scott V. Edwards who was involved in the study.

"Maybe the leader of the flock somehow didn't know they were close to the ground. If that's the case, then most of the birds in the flock wouldn't know they're close to the ground."



Source: Mail Online | Comments (11)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by jethrofloyd 4 months ago
A birds navigate using the magnetic fields. Maybe the leader's own built-in GPS broke down?
Comment icon #3 Posted by NCC1701 4 months ago
They are just too many flying together, the ones in the back cant see anything and have no idea where they are flying into.
Comment icon #4 Posted by and then 4 months ago
The Thunderbirds of the U.S. airforce did something similar a couple of decades ago.   They were somehow inverted over the field and when the lead pilot "pulled up", all the rest followed him and they died in a fiery crash.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 4 months ago
Germany lost 13 Stuka's in a bombing demonstration in 1939 due to playing follow the leader. The Neuhammer Stuka Disaster https://de.zxc.wiki/wiki/Stuka-Unglück_von_Neuhammer
Comment icon #6 Posted by brokenbutcher2016 4 months ago
Glad to see the title is saying they are  " crashing into the ground". last month it was " falling out of the sky". One bird goes, they all follow. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by godnodog 4 months ago
its a weird event sure, but there's been plenty of weird events through out history. the fact is this will probably will remain unexplained for the simple reason there isn't enough data.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Seti42 4 months ago
It's what happens sometimes when creatures don't look around and instead just follow their leader.
Comment icon #9 Posted by qxcontinuum 4 months ago
That's the perfect example of what nations do, following a bad leader. 
Comment icon #10 Posted by Hawken 3 months ago
Birds usually land at an angle. But these birds came straight down as if a downward  wind blew them.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Briary 2 months ago
Probably a Microburst. https://www.weather.gov/bmx/outreach_microbursts


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