Monday, November 14, 2011

Just a Little Zen... Starling-Style

Photo Courtesy of Wiki Commons
Have you ever heard of a starling? It's a non-descript, little black bird--fairly common and rather forgettable for the most part. I bottle-fed these guys all summer at the wildlife rehab center, and the only thing I found remarkable about them was their uncanny ability to escape from their pens and dive-bomb me during feeding time.

I was so unimpressed with starlings, in fact, that I recently smirked when I received an email with the subject line: A Murmuration of Starlings. (What can I say, my friends are animal nerds, too.  This is what we do for fun.)  Imagine my surprise when I followed the link and found myself spellbound by some truly gorgeous starling footage.  

Common starlings, apparently, sometimes congregate in huge flocks called "murmurations." These murmurations move in massive, coordinated, airborne dances, and scientists still struggle to explain exactly how these dances are possible.

I won't bore you with scientific theories (which you can find here, if you like).  Instead, I will simply leave you with this beautiful video, which was taken recently by two kayakers in Ireland. Turn up your speakers, relax and enjoy this beautiful, little moment of Zen.

How cool is Mother Nature??


Cassie Mae said...

Lol, I'm terrified of birds, but this was okay. :)

LisaAnn said...

Hahaha, there IS a certain Alfred Hitchcock feeling to it, isn't there?

Donna Perugini said...

I saw the video going around. When I played it, I really expected to see a whale rise up out of the water. It was disappointing at first, but then watching the birds was interesting. I'd still like to have seen a whale breeching the water!

Lydia Kang said...

They're so pretty. Are they an invasive species? I think I heard my son say something about that. IF so, too bad because they're beautiful! said...

Holy cow! I don't know how those women didn't fall out of their kayak in shock. Almost every spring, a starling will fly down our chimney and try to build a nest in our wood stove. We go to great effort to put it back outside without our dog catching them, only to find that five minutes later, it's back in the stove! Can't say they're not determined. Thanks for sharing and upping my appreciation of them. ;-)

ryan graudin said...

I saw this video via my brother. It's pretty amazing and awesome. At some points in the video they all look like flying Death Eaters from the HP movies.

Girl Parker said...

We saw this happen at the WA beach just last week. I snapped so many pictures, but it really must be video'd to be believed. Beautiful and breath-taking.

LisaAnn said...

@Donna: A whale would definitely be a nice touch.

@Lydia: Yep, they're invasive in some countries, unfortunately. They're native to Europe, but they've been introduced to North America, Australia and South Africa. They're really adaptable, and they love to nest in holes, so they've pushed out a lot of the natives.

@Beth: Hahaha, DEFINITE pains in the asses!

@Ryan: For sure. There is a definite creepiness factor to some of their formations.

@Girl Parker: How awesome! You should post the pics along with all your other beautiful shots... :)

Dinda Amanda said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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