[Tweeters] Re: Murmuration video and Bud A's response

Barbara Deihl barbdeihl at comcast.net
Sun Nov 6 12:14:30 PST 2011

The video of the murmuration of Starlings, looking much like the
shorebird show we see occasionally at our wetlands was posted on this
list on Friday by Doug Daily and brought on many feelings and words of
admiration (which isn't often the case for the much despised
Starlings!). I was so glad to see something put out to the public at
large that would shine these much maligned birds in a favorable
light. And then came Bud Anderson's reality check comment which put
in perspective this seemingly unusual action of a "regular" bird. Of
course, the Starlings weren't just doing ballet practice, but were
doing a dance of life and death, very likely evading an attacking bird
of prey (probably a Peregrine Falcon). Just like the shorebirds do.
Bud's years of experience with falcons and their prey made it obvious
to him that there was a practical reason for the event. This did
bring me back down out of the clouds, but not crashing to the ground -
it's STILL amazing, breathtaking and beautiful and I remain holding a
new appreciation for the lowly Starling.
Thanks to the folks who captured this lovely occurence on camera, to
Doug for posting about it and to Bud as well, for reminding us that
there is usually a good, reasonable survival-based reason for every
thrilling and beautiful display we witness in nature. The knowledge
only adds to our appreciation of the wild things. And a new term (at
least for me) to boot - "evasion cloud" - a perfect descriptor! And
thanks to all the birds for instilling a magical sense of wonder in
many of us. What a gift!

Barb Deihl

North Matthews Beach - NE Seattle

barbdeihl at comcast.net

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