≡ Menu

Something Wonderful 2.0: Murmurations

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • KCK July 1, 2022, 10:55 AM

    As I said once before, my home town hosts shore birds at what is, iirc, one of 2 stops for them within the US, but in actuality they are going between Alaska and Peru. Hundreds of thousands of shore birds, all on a single Spring weekend, running on the tide flats, and flying their murmurations, each in their own sub-species or type, and in a weirdly coordinated simultaneous air show.

    Or, I should say they go North in the Spring.

  • Gagdad Bob July 1, 2022, 11:18 AM

    Reminds me of what the billions of spinning galaxies must look like from the view outside the cosmos.

    • Gagdad Bob July 1, 2022, 11:33 AM

      Or flocks of liberals spontaneously forming around the Current Thing.

  • Yaacov ben Moshe July 1, 2022, 11:25 AM

    Thank You for this! It’s beautiful and thought provoking. I first saw a video like this from a friend in Israel. I researched the phenomenon and found that it is common to schooling fish and even herds of land animals. It is a kind of orchestral arrangement of movement without a “score” or plan. It seems entirely leaderless (at least in the case of fish and birds) and works by individuals responding to the movements and reactions of the others nearest them and to stimuli (predators, landscape etc..,) within and without the group. Beautiful and calming as it is, I’m sure Mr Winter kept his car safely parked at home and walked the 3 miles to do this video.

  • Dan Patterson July 1, 2022, 11:35 AM

    Now that’s better, isn’t it?

    I really don’t want cold water thrown over the mysterious, bright light shone in the shadows of make-believe, and droning lectures in place of poetry. There is plenty of fuel to burn just coping with reality, and plenty of cornbread and milk on the table displacing the manna in your daydreams as it is; most of my energy is spent managing reality and I forget how depleting that chore is.

    Until a scene like the starlings comes along to remind me.

    I am tired. Not from restless sleep, and not from using muscles and making blisters. But good Lord am I ever tired. It’s from the battle and from caulking leaks in the hull; that takes a toll on a man — his brain gets a groove worn in it and soon the invasion and those leaks are all he can make out. The road is dressed with sun-speckled shade and cool water, but all he can see is what isn’t done, calling for his immediate attention. It goes on like that for years, one day slurring over into the next, and for some good men I’ve known there is no relief until the end comes.

    Thank you for the reminder that at least some of our troubles are our own doing, and some of the remedy is right in front of us.

  • Mary Ann July 1, 2022, 2:54 PM

    Astonishingly Wonderful. Thank you Gerard.

  • Jack July 1, 2022, 3:33 PM

    All the curiosity and wondering of why and how. Not me, I think it’s a glorious gift from God and nature to experience it and I don’t need anything else to help me enjoy it.

    When I lived in Tulsa I planted a stand of river cane in my yard and in a few short years I had a forest of it. Every evening during the fall migrating starlings would begin to fly in to roost for the evening and during their fly in the stand of cane was filled with their chatter. And then, suddenly, everything would become deathly quiet and those birds did not utter another sound. During their migration my wife and I would take a seat in the Adirondacks on our patio, sip our Sundowner and enjoy the show.

  • Anonymous July 1, 2022, 3:38 PM

    Starlings were introduced to North America in the 19th century. Why don’t they exhibit this behavior here?

    • ghostsniper July 2, 2022, 4:36 AM

      They do, and I’ve *seen* it, but not on that scale.
      **In Indiana and Florida.

  • Tom Hyland July 1, 2022, 7:36 PM

    I’ve never seen the starlings, however, their patterns are identical to something I saw about 60′ below surface in the Philippines. A half a million sardines were being harassed by maybe a dozen 18″ tuna bombarding them at different angles. The display of motion and wondrous patterns of complexity was mesmerizing. I didn’t go anywhere else… I was hanging to the edge of a sunken ship wreck until my air tank was spent about 40 minutes later.

    • Snakepit Kansas July 3, 2022, 7:34 AM

      Tremendously, in early 2000s I was an expat in the Philippines sent by a large corporation and spent most of two wonderful years there. The standard expat package gave you a pretty nice place to stay and a company car, plus $10K in furniture money to furnish your new place. I spent most of my furniture money on hiring a private instructor and diving equipment. Did most of my diving around Anilao, Batangas and Coron Island, Palawan. Caves at 150′, technical dives to 200′ and plenty of sunk Japanese ships from WWII. We never went into the ships further than we could still see outside. We ran guide lines into caves. Yes, tremendous aquatic beauty of fish and coral. God was having fun when he designed all of that.

      • Tom Hyland July 3, 2022, 11:21 AM

        Your words are good to read. I very narrowly escaped the service when the draft ended about a month before my physical. A pal of mine was in Nam and spoke so enthusiastically of R&R in the PI that he took up residence there in 1983. I visited a year later and returned a dozen times. I would catch the ferry out of Batangas and the first stop southwards is Mindoro, and the villages of Puerto Galera and Sabang which were my exclusive diving adventures. Got about 150 dives logged. The visibility is stifled 200′ down… gets so dark… and I didn’t feel like learning the nitrox basics so I floated about 50′ down where the colors and the fish were spectacular. You use less air at that depth. You know all of that. I miss the PI so much. Duterte issued shoot-to-kill orders for the unmasked… I think that got lifted. Who knows? But you have to be vaxxed to even land in that country now. I click onto this video occasionally and cry into my San Miguel.

  • Tellurian July 1, 2022, 11:36 PM

    I was once in the the tunnels Seoul during rush hour. I was transferring from subway to train along with countless others. Suddenly the moving crowd shifted its movement and I in unison shifted right along with them. I was immediately stunned. How did I do that? What happened? How did we all know what to do? By what silent means did we instantly communicate precision among so many? Did anyone else notice? I’ve tried to explain what happened to others…to explain how I felt…but never with success. It was only a moment in time for me, but here these Starlings perform the dance night after night. For a moment in time was I like them? I wonder…