This is a completely non-beekeeping post. Like many beekeepers, my interest in honey bees is rooted in a greater, general interest in nature, so I hope you enjoy this natural history post.
My friend Mary Parnell Carney (who takes most of the photos, and all of the good ones, on this webpage), posted a brief video on her Facebook page, (link further in this post), which she made of a starling murmuration –you have to be registered at facebook to view it. I recognized the phenomenon when I viewed her post and video, but had been unfamiliar with the word. First, a word about starlings: the starlings we see here in the United States are European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, an introduced species – obviously from Europe. They have never been my favorite birds; they are aggressive, come to our feeders with lots of their friends, and crowd out the other birds. I now have a new appreciation of them, however due to Mary’s post and some subsequent research. Continue reading