A Mesmerizing Murmuration of Starlings
Witness a natural moment of magic…Posted Nov 11, 2011
As evening dulls the silver surface of the River Shannon, a sudden cloud emerges, twisting, darting, unfolding across the expanse of sky. The coal black plume dissolves to shimmering emptiness, and reforms with the racing urgency of a tornado, an impatient arc of life slicing a random natural pattern across the landscape.
Glide along with giggling canoeists Sophia Windsor and Liberty Smith and witness one of nature’s mesmerizing wonders – a ‘murmuration’ of starlings.
By day, starlings forage in small groups, but as the afternoon wears on they gather in increasing numbers over the roosting area. By dusk, rising clouds emerge, chattering and swirling, lifting thousands or even millions of birds into the darkening sky.
Seeking safety from predator sparrow hawks and peregrine falcons, each bird avoids the edge, trying to stay on the inside of the flock. Mimicking each other’s flight creates form from frenzy, and casts a spell on the silent witnesses below.
Sophia Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith comprise the filmmaking partnership called Islands and Rivers