What can we learn from a Starling Murmation?

 Starling murmationOne of the great miracles of nature is a starling murmation. Have you ever seen one?

A flock of starlings moving as one through the sky in a tight formation is called a murmation.

My first glimpse of a murmation was a small flock over the Santa Monica Mountains, seen from my office window years ago.

At the time, I likened it to “turning practice”  — they’d fly in one direction and then turn in unison to fly in another direction.  Over and over and over.

I didn’t get much else done that morning. I hadn’t yet heard of murmations.  And didn’t see it again until I came upon the video below, captured by wildlife photographer Dylan Winter.

It turns out that murmations can range from a small group of a few hundred starlings, to millions of starlings blocking out the sun.

Scientists don’t know how two birds separated by hundreds of feet and hundreds of other birds can move as one. They say the answer seems to be rooted in physics.

I prefer to think of it as rooted in the Lakota prayer, Mitakuye Oyasin – we are all related. We are all one, connected by an invisible web of unity.

Native Americans have always viewed the world this way.  And the Starling Nation is perhaps the most visible example of it.

Starlings teach us the etiquette of group behavior – how to get along. Watch your words in group situations – be diplomatic. And don’t be overly sensitive to other’s words.

Be sensitive to those around you. Strive to be in sync with them, in harmony. How can you support the whole, rather then just focusing on your own needs?

Simple concepts, but so important to our survival as a species

Murmation is also a striking example of why I’ve never liked the phrase “dumb animal” – because the animal nations have skills and talents far beyond the limitations of the human nation.

There’s so much we don’t know yet about this amazing earth and the creatures who live on her. Take four minutes to enjoy this remarkable video, and be awed by the glory of Mother Nature.



Molly Larkin

Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller "The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman”  and other books on health. She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes, healing practice and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com

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