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Murmuratin’ Starlings January 24, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.

This is old (like more than 3 years old), but I hadn’t seen it. Michael will probably dig up a previous post on it, but I’m going to forge ahead with all the false confidence ignorance can provide.

Takes 20 or 30 seconds to get going, but after that it’s pretty incredible.


1. Jimbro - January 24, 2014


2. Retired Geezer - January 24, 2014

When we moved to the spud state, we joined the bird watchers club. There are many varieties of birds here. Growing up in Vegas, we probably were familiar with 10 types of birds (it’s the desert, yo).
We had never seen a Magpie and were startled to see a dozen of those tuxedo-ed squawkers in our backyard.

At our first bird club meeting we mentioned Starlings and were surprised to see the instant hate erupt from the multitudes. Apparently Starlings love to take over the nests of the Mountain Bluebird, Official State Bird of Idaho. We were instructed on building Bluebird birdhouses with the proper sized hole; just big enough for the ‘good’ birds but small enough to keep out the rough trade.

Murmuration is cool, just not in my backyard.

3. skinbad - January 24, 2014

We had lots of magpies where I grew up. My mom thought they were special friends of Satan so he gave them extra intelligence.

4. OBF - January 24, 2014

One more time Mother Nature shows her stuff. Thanks for sharing.
Can you use murmuration in a sentence?

5. Michael - January 24, 2014


It’s like they were choreagraphed by an awesome God. But silly me. Isn’t it just so interesting that random mutations kinda sorta just happened to result in an adaptive behavior that is so exquistively complex and statistically impossible without values approaching infinity?

6. geoff - January 24, 2014

Can you use murmuration in a sentence?

Racist Teacher: All right, class – can anyone tell me the name of the birds that fly in mesmerizing patterns over the Shannon River?

Chen Nguyen Park: *under breath* “Starlings.”

Racist Teacher: What was that? Was that a murmur, Asian?

[well, somebody had to do it]

7. Cathy - January 24, 2014

Geezer, in Missouri folks had the same attitude about starlings. State bird is the bluebird. Duh! We made blue bird houses in Girl Scouts and I remember the size od the holes needed to be small to keep starlings out. Great video. Thanks for sharing, Geoff.

8. lauraw - January 24, 2014

Nifty! I hate them, too. Usually try to exclude them from the suet feeder by capping it so they can’t stand on top and peck it (they don’t cling to the vertical side very well).

9. Retired Geezer - January 25, 2014

What Michael said.

And Cathy.

And Lauraw… oh hell, everybody had some good stuff to add.

10. daveintexas - January 25, 2014

They seem very confused about what they want.

11. Tushar - January 27, 2014

The fuq is wrong with those birds?

12. Can Grey Goo be Far Behind? | Innocent Bystanders - August 15, 2014

[…] but starting to get a little creepy. Kind of reminds of me of that murmuration of starlings video we posted at the beginning of the […]

13. Murmuration II | Innocent Bystanders - March 5, 2021

[…] may remember 7 years past, when we linked to a video of murmurating starlings. The New York Post had a similar video up today, but in this one, at one point the starlings make . […]

14. Retired Geezer - March 8, 2021

I hereby retroactively nominate geoff for the Internet Shoehorned Pun award.

Chen Nguyen Park: *under breath* “Starlings.”

Racist Teacher: What was that? Was that a murmur, Asian?

15. Cathy - March 9, 2021

Beautiful. Made me tingle all over again. Good to visit here one more time. Hugs all round.

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