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Re: flocking

Jaime wrote:

>   Flying V's respond differently, because it _is_
> follow the leader, no matter how big the V's, or how
> many branches there are off the whole structure. The
> one in front, to my observations, is, like horse
> herds, "boss." He (or she) leads, they follow. Happens
> in larger birds than mass quantity flockers (most
> [all?] of whom, I gather, are passerines). Flying V's,
> to my knowledge, occur in gruiforms, anseriforms,
> phoenicopteriforms, etc., all birds that are
> long-necked and -legged, and otherwise gregarious with
> set pecking orders, or am I wrong?

The skein does follow the bird at the front, but this has nothing to
do with pecking order.  Different birds take turns in going first,
and suffering higher drag.

>   As for reasons for flocking, could it be that
> they're all prey birds? Excluding the storks and
> vultures, of course, which are birds-of-prey.

If predators are evenly distributed, you minimise your chances of
meeting one by getting in between 2 or more other prey animals.  Of
course, they're all trying to do the same...

Bill Adlam
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