The flight patterns of birds is a fascinating thing to study, but a hard one to visualize, as their soaring and swooping doesn’t leave a trail, the way a jet does. However, Barcelona-based photographer Xavi Bou has come up with a way to picture a bird’s flight, and the resulting images are quite astounding.
Using frame-by-frame layered video stills, Bou’s images showcase flight patterns that range from jagged stripes to complex, chaotic swirls. Indeed, though he didn’t know quite what the resulting images would look like, he was stunned by the way the flights came to life. National Geographic has a great article on the subject, and an entire issue dedicated to birds.
Check out these bizarre and fascinating formations below, which give us a new way to understand how birds move.
Bird flights become like zippers across the sky.
Some of the paths look like sea serpents.
Others, like this huge group of starlings, appear like mythical swarms.
He has named his series ‘Ornitografías’, and they showcase the beauty and complexity of flight.
Flocks of seagulls create complex patterns off of the ocean surface.
An arctic tern creates an unusual shape as it takes flight.
A group of corn buntings seem to erupt out of the ground.
A beautifully ornate pattern made up of a flock of Northern lapwings.
Yellow-legged gulls and white storks in flight.