Super Starling

During the third week in October, seven years ago, Jerry Harned and I took a road trip to central California in search of one the most fascinating and mysterious displays of animal behavior on the planet. After a six-hour drive up Interstate 5, we reached the city of Modesto. There (according to some folks I’d connected with while doing location research) we could witness and photograph the spectacular aerial performances of a small bird called the European Starling.

Two hours before sunset, we set up our cameras on the top of a parking garage in the center of town.  Then we waited (that’s always an essential part of nature photography). After about 90 minutes a few small black birds started flying overhead.  Soon “a few” became a flock. Then the flock became a giant black swirling cloud. Then the cloud became what is known in avian biology as a murmuration. It was a jaw-dropping sight.

For more than a half hour, at least 10,000 birds flew in tight formation, filling the twilight sky with a living mural. The sound of their flapping wings was like nothing I’d ever heard before. I won’t attempt to describe the scene because my words won’t do it any justice. All I can say is that it made me want to belt out a few stanzas of How Great Thou Art. Take five-minutes to watch our newest John 10:10 Project video, SUPER STARLING, and I think you’ll see what mean.

Just as I can never adequately describe the creative brilliance displayed by these “ordinary” little birds, my communication skills also fall short when it comes to expressing the full measure of our appreciation for your prayers and financial support. Thank you so much for making these videos possible.

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