Carl Sagan visits my blog!

There are — AS I WRITE THIS — millions, no wait, billions and billions (thanks, Dr. Sagan!) of starlings in my neighborhood. Every roof and tree is covered with them, and the sky is a constant swirl of stubby-winged black silhouettes. I would go outside and take a video, but the chances of being shat upon are exponentially greater than normal.


You’ll just have to take my word for it, somewhat substantiated by these feeble photos I was able to shoot through the skylight and various windows. (The birds are moving around A LOT so the still photos don’t really do them justice. Besides, the light is all wrong and there’s bird do on the skylight. Bleh.)

The cats are on overload: the older, calmer 0ne, having commandeered the window seat in my bedroom, has decided to squinch up her eyes and just listen to the cacophany; the younger, more hyper one is crouched beneath the skylight in my bathroom, eyes big as saucers, intent on the chaos wheeling overhead. The skittering of tiny bird claws on the skylight and the gutters is about to drive her bonkers. (A very short trip, as she is more than halfway there all the time anyway.)

I just had to share. My apologies to those who are a bit squeamish about this many birds all in one place.


7 responses to “Carl Sagan visits my blog!

  1. wow–that is a lovely, lovely day you have shared…does this happen each year?
    I love that your cats are going nutso…

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      Yeah, it pretty much happens every fall. Some years the avian aggregation is more impressive than others, and this year has fallen into that category. I don’t know that I was very successful in conveying the experience of being in the midst of this huge gathering; the video would have helped SO much with that! I was hoping the cats might work in the same way, kinda…

      It’s not so much that the cats are DOING anything: it’s the tension emanating from their round, furry bodies. I’m really wondering if the younger one will explode. Now that I look again, the older one seems to have fallen asleep. I guess the excitement was too much for her…

  2. Birds, birds, and more birds! I think it’s cool, but perhaps I wouldn’t if I had to put up with it. Thank you for sharing the pics. They are awesome. Blessings to you…

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      I was thinking of you when I wrote my little note of apology at the end… or more appropriately, I guess, your daughter. Don’t let her see this posting! 😉

      I do wish I’d been brave enough (or poo-tolerant enough) to shoot a video: it was much cooler in motion than the pictures can convey. Ah, well. I’m not sure I know how to use the video function on the camera, anyway. 🙂

      Thanks for reading (and commenting). Blessings to you, too!

  3. Do you have birdfeeders around the house as well or are they just congragating?

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      Lexington KY (where we live) is located on a major lane of the Atlantic migratory flyway. Furthermore, Lexington seems to be a a rendezvous point for all the starlings in the eastern half of North America who like to spend Christmas in the tropics. Every fall, huge flocks collect around town, until they reach some mysterious point of critical mass and wing off south together. As a child, I remember driving through Georgia one December beneath a flock of starlings so massive that it stretched from horizon to horizon in all directions. We drove for an entire day through this migratory swarm without seeing any end to it. I think the Lexington contingent is but a small part of that mind-boggling assembly.

      As to your question on bird feeders, we don’t have any. But I suppose you could say we LIVE in a bird feeder: the streets of our subdivision are lined with Bradford pear trees, and many lots have choke cherry, holly, serviceberry, crab apple, and other such trees in their landscaping — all of which are laden with fruit right about now. I also regularly see migrating flocks of other fruit-eating birds like robins and cedar waxwings, but they don’t approach the starlings in numbers or volume. Or doo-doo.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, and most of all for leaving a comment! (I checked out your blog before replying and will now go leave a comment for you! 🙂 )

    • Jennifer Barricklow

      OK, so I got a little carried away and left seventy-eleven comments on your blog. Be careful what you ask for! 😉

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