English, Fake News

This Video of birds flocking in sync with the mustering sheep is a morphed one


A video circulating on social media shows birds appearing to flock in sync with sheep moving on the ground, is being shared as real visuals of birds and sheep dancing together. Let’s verify the authenticity of the video.

Claim: Real Visuals of birds and sheep dancing together.

Fact: The original video solely depicts sped-up footage of sheep mustering on a field in New Zealand, without any murmuration of birds in the sky. The visuals of birds flocking were subsequently added to the video, creating the false perception of synchronized occurrences. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

After conducting a reverse image search of the viral video, we traced it back to the original video posted on the ‘nzpasturefed’ Instagram channel on 28 May 2022.

The video shows a sped-up version of sheep mustering in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. In the video, dogs can be seen herding a flock of sheep in a field.

According to local media reports, the video gained widespread attention when actor Hugh Jackman shared it on his Twitter account on 03 July 2022. However, the original video does not feature any birds flocking in the sky contrary to what is depicted in the viral video.

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the footage depicting the birds flocking in the sky had been added to the original video, creating the illusion that they were flocking in synchronization with the sheep mustering on the ground. In addition, we created a demonstrative video by combining the original footage with readily available clips (here, here, and here) of birds flocking.

Demo Video created by FACTLY

Murmuration refers to the phenomenon where a large group of birds, typically starlings, fly together in a coordinated and intricate manner, creating mesmerizing patterns in the sky. Murmuration serves multiple purposes like deterring predators, promoting social bonding and collective decision-making, aiding navigation, and information sharing, assisting with thermoregulation, and even serving as courtship displays.

To sum it up, a morphed video depicting birds flocking in synchronization with sheep mustering on the ground is being shared as authentic footage.


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