In places where people feed pigeons, its a common sight to see them fly off suddenly when there is a sudden disturbance.
When they do, there is an interesting pattern that these birds follow.
Say there is a huge noise in the surrounding, all the pigeons fly off together, and return to the very same place, traversing a semicircular path of some fixed radius. The flight of each bird relative to another is also interesting, looks like some sort of a wave. It seems more like a formality rather than of some utility (since they return to the same place).
I assume this has been studied and has some significance. Does it happen in other birds too? What is this phenomenon called?