This week’s photo, taken February 1, 2016 from the Edmonds, WA pier, features a “few” DUNLIN, the same species mentioned in last week’s post.
Actually, there are far more than a few DUNLIN in this photo, and your assignment, if you wish to accept it, is to estimate how many Dunlin are in this flock. Take a few seconds, but no more than a minute, and come up with your best guess. Don’t try to count them individually, because that attempt would be quite stressful. Believe me, I know. After you come up with an answer, then look at the bottom of this post for the number I arrived at after two separate counts.
Whether or not you choose to play the game, appreciate how synchronized Dunlin can be when flying as a group. When I took this photo, every bird was flying to our left, and virtually all (except for maybe 10 rebellious individuals) were banking to the right and exposing their white underside to the camera.
Nope, there’s no prize for winning the contest, other than the tremendous pride you will feel for an accurate estimate, and the thrill you will feel for participating. At the very least, appreciate how difficult it is to calculate the number of tiny birds flying in a tight formation.
By the way, I know that my answer is not precisely correct, but I think it’s reasonably close, or at least in the ballpark. If you take the time to count every bird, so you can tell me exactly how inaccurate my count is, then you have way too much time on your hands.
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