A Murmering of Starlings
I met a fellow yesterday during my morning walk through the Rose family farmlands, who works for the farm as a falconer. He said his name was Erik and was on a “starling control” mission at the moment. Erik had a whistle around his neck, that he used to signal trained falcons to chase after the starlings that peck at the blueberries. The starlings were now so conditioned to associating the whistle with a dive-bombing falcon that the whistle alone was enough to scatter them (for a while at least).
The starlings swarmed around in a wave so thick that it looked like a cloud of locusts. My friend Rob tells me that the collective noun for such a cloud of those birds is called a “murmering” of starlings.
Synchronity: just this morning I read in our local paper (The Courant) an article on Erik and his falcons. The story has some nice photos of the whole area around the back of our house.