Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've seen videos of hundreds of birds flying in the same general direction but creating incredible patterns in the sky seemingly instantaneously! How do they all know in what direction to turn at the same time? Is there a "Lead" bird dictating this somehow?

share|improve this question
Not an answer because I've totally forgotten where to find the papers involved, but this is an active area of research in fields ranging from biology to machine learning to mathematics. –  Chinmay Kanchi Mar 27 '14 at 16:34
Is there somewhere you can point me where I may be able to gather a little more info on this research? –  Srb1313711 Mar 27 '14 at 16:47
Searching scholar.google.com for swarm, swarm behaviour and the like should yield some results. –  Chinmay Kanchi Mar 27 '14 at 16:49
Cool thanks for the response –  Srb1313711 Mar 27 '14 at 16:51
Ive recently stared designing a similar program for some collision detection practice, it is in fact what led me to this question. Boids will not collide because of the code written but i'm 99% sure there's is no collision detection code written for birds:-) –  Srb1313711 Mar 27 '14 at 17:04

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.