Jan 24 2014
If birds left a visual trail in the sky, what would their flight paths look like?
Dennis Hlynsky, an artist and professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, has been experimenting with this for several years. He became interested in birds when “During the winter of 2008 I left the house in the wee early morning looking for anything to record with my new pocket video camera. I began to notice life above.” Since then he’s been filming birds and animals, then using Adobe After Effects to convert their motion to dotted trails. Fast-moving birds become open dashes, slow-moving ones are thick lines.
Starling videos are especially interesting because the flocks collect a few birds at a time and flee in a tightly packed blob. Click on the screenshot above to watch Hlynsky’s video “data in data out” of starlings on wires in East Providence.
Thanks to Traci Darin for pointing out this video in an article on the Colossal website where you can see an animation and three additional flight path videos. Or click here for Dennis Hlynsky’s “small brains on mass” website where he’s posted videos of birds, water striders and the carp feeding at Linesville, PA.