rooks and starlings

The murmuration of starlings can be seen these nights.  One of these can be seen on the human work migration out of Belfast as we all pass the Lagan.  The murmuration swims and pulses through the evening sky as they get ready to roost for the night. Some of these starlings come from the surrounding countryside but apparently most of them migrate from lands far off.

a murmurqation of starlings by ad551

They are amazing mimics of other birds voices and sometimes human speech.  The strangest fact* I could dig up about starlings was an old battle between the starlings and rooks.  On the evening of 2nd November 1930 starlings (estimated to be 10,000) battled with rooks at Fermony, Co Cork.  They battled for hours and rebattled each night until the 9th of November when the physically larger rooks had their numbers reinforced to around 2,000.  Apparently such battles are recorded in the folklore of Ireland, Gaelic Scotland and Eastern Europe but nowhere else.

*From Birds of Ireland by Glynn Anderson