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Alfred Hitchcock would have been proud…Monday morning I awoke to watch a huge, dark cloud scuttling across the sky. It was moving rapidly and undulating oddly. Then I realized it was a massive flock of starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

This time of year they normally gather into large groups to forage but this was the largest flock I have ever seen. They descended on the giant cottonwood in our backyard and make an unbelievable noise…sort of like a bunch of empty metal shopping carts rattling over a bumpy gravel driveway. Leaves were falling off like rain as they moved around in the crown of the tree. Then, with an unseen cue, they all took off and flew away.

It was pretty wild for a dreary Monday morning.

ps: I never knew there were so many different kinds of starlings. Check this page out from the Internet Bird Collection.

Also, this video is worth watching…just what ARE those starlings doing in those trees?!

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