No Murmuration…Just Rumors!

European Starlings were just a species of birds that one day or two a year would show up  in my backyard and then leave a couple of days later. It was hard for me to photograph them because they were more interested in getting worms out of the newly mowed lawn and acted very shy mostly.

It’s quite a difference for this year, the European Starling came and stayed to roost and now they are part of the backyard population!

There’s a hint of disdain about the referred species by some people, a great part of them base that concept because of the economic impact they cause to their damage to crops and the farming industry. I can understand that but other people  dislike them simply because they are not “pretty” or “attractive”.

Viewing them from far they may look as very dark and plain but seen much closer they do look quite handsome an colorful. They are also great parents to their brood.

The most impressing thing that they can offer are  “murmurations”, which consists of thousands of starlings flying at once, forming a gigantic flock that flies across the sky in unison, creating convoluted patterns and an incredible synchronized manner. There are many “theories” of how these birds are able to achieve this task. I’m sure that there will be more in the future.

“I don’t expect to have any murmurations in my area. I don’t want any that I will have to feed! No way!”

Photo Gallery

Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101


20 thoughts on “No Murmuration…Just Rumors!

  1. “. . . . In the early 1890s, about 100 European starlings were released in New York City’s Central Park by a group dedicated to bringing to America every bird ever mentioned by Shakespeare.
    Some 200 million shiny black European starlings crowd North America, from the cool climes of Alaska to the balmy reaches of Mexico’s Baja peninsula. The enormous flocks endanger air travel, mob cattle operations, chase off native songbirds, roost on city blocks, leaving behind corrosive, foul-smelling droppings and hundreds of millions of dollars of damage each year…”
    source: 2009,

    ….at least they have one admirer and defender, H.J. 🙂

    • To be fair to these birds you’d have to mention the good things too Lance. Most things have a good and a bad angle if you notice. Thanks! 🙂

  2. I think Starlings are a much maligned birds. True, they are an invasive species but if you look closely at them, their plumage is gorgeous! Their wings are so beautifully iridescent, like the rainbows on top of an oil slick. I love to feed birds in our backyard and as long as the Starlings play nice with others, I don’t mind their presence.

    • I agree with you Bethany. In the animal kingdom you have a myriad of species that are “cute” but when they count by the thousands and travel together they become a nuisance or a damaging force!. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

      • I’m a big fan of bird watching in the backyard. We used to have all out wars between a flock of Stellar Blue Jays versus a bunch of Flickers, fighting over who had custody of the bird feeder. They danced back and forth en masse like the Sharks and the Jets in West Side Story. Quite the sight! I’m definitely a bird person. I have a South American tropical parrot named Aida who turned 15 this year and she’s a fantastic companion.

  3. Lovely photos of the starlings, H.J. I used to not really care for starlings and grackles and mourning doves so much, but I have been paying closer attention and they are very good at keeping things cleaned up under the feeders! 🙂 And I have come to appreciate the colors in the starlings’ feathers.

    • That’s fantastic Amy! I’ve learned to be fair with the birds and not to judge the species by their appearance. Thanks Amy for sharing! 🙂

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