Disappearing sandpiper birds in murmuration

Disappearing sandpipers in murmuration

Behold one of the greatest shows in nature — sandpiper murmurations.

Sandpipers, like starlings, often fly low in coordinated swirls that give the group the appearance of a disappearing magic trick. Instead, the unison of thousands of individual black backs and white chests against a blue sky gives off the pulsating effect.

The “murmuration” is a low murmur from the thousands of concurrent wingbeats and soft flight calls.

Recorded over Ocean Shores, Washington

The seemingly choreographed flock looks like a cloud of smoke, painting patterns in the sky. Blink, and you’ll miss the ephemeral shapes.

Mother nature creates the best art installations, never mind that the birds never collide as they dance as a collective movement. Like a school of fish, the birds boomerang back and forth with the fluidity of motion.

No wonder the Romans thought the swarm behavior of starlings was a sign from the gods.

Watch more mesmerizing murmurations after the jump.