Starlings are singularly unattractive birds.
They brashly strut, off-kilter.
Their hoarse racket rattles our ears
As they invade our backyard feeders,
Leading us to curse the fool
Who first released these European emigrants
In Central Park, in honor of Shakespeare.

But in early spring, at dusk,
Large flocks form a murmuration,
Kaleidoscopic patterns
Coalescing and dispersing—
Not the purposeful forward motion,
Of geese in Vee formation,
But almost, not quite, random,
Like a wash of water colors,
Like the incoming tide,

Whether they cruise above
A field of wheat, a grassy bank,
Or the inhospitable pavement
Of the strip mall by the interstate,
Their endlessly malleable comings and goings
Fascinate and mesmerize.
I cannot take my eyes off these invaders
As my heart cries, “Welcome. Welcome home.”

A beautiful article about murmurations by Jerry Dennis:

Watch a video of a murmuration:

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