I’m still wandering across the States on our holiday, so this is another pre-prepared post.Â Our internet access has been pretty patchy so far, but hopefully will improve so that I can get around to your blogs this time!Â Fingers crossed on that one.
This week’s ABC Wednesday is on to the middle part of the alphabet – we’re at the letter ‘M‘.Â I had a little trouble finding ‘M‘s for you, but then I came across a lot of pictures I’d taken of starlings on our bird-table earlier this year. Did you know that the collective noun for a group of starlings is ‘murmuration’?
If you’ve ever played host to a group of these highly social but incredibly noisy birds, you’ll know why that is.
When we began to feed the birds in the spring this year, the starlings were one of the first to arrive.Â And because they are highly social birds, they have a method.
One bird will turn up to scout for food – and by the way, they love mealworms – and if he finds some, another will arrive within minutes.
The murmuration begins with a few squawks and twitters, and this is the signal for a few more birds to come and see what the fuss is about.
In a very short time, you have a whole bunch of starlings squabbling among themselves over the available resources.
By this time, the murmuration is loud enough to remind you of a bunch of teenagers outside the local youth club trying to impress the girls, and it looks as if World War Three has broken out among the starling population, but in fact, if you watch them carefully, it’s just pushing and shoving.Â Â And they never attack other species of birds, just each other.
So there you have it.Â ‘M‘ for murmuration.Â And as you may have guessed, I’m really rather fond of starlings!