Starling murmurationsStarling murmurationsStarling murmurations

Starling murmurations

The starling murmurations graphic story was part of the October 2021 issue of National Geographic magazine. In the large gatefold format that showcases the work of photographer Nick Dunlop, we can appreciate the beauty and complexity of the group behavior starlings display, often as an escape to predator attacks. The graphic explores how the birds can communicate and mimic each other without a leader, passing information across at lightning speed.

See the interactive online version (which may be behind a firewall), a collaboration with National Geographic’s Director of Digital Storytelling Kennedy Elliott. The digital story includes spectacular videos of murmurations captured by Nick Dunlop and a simulation I created to take you step by step through the surprisingly purposeful escape patterns.