Starling Swarm

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We all stood still staring into the sky.

The tennis game came to a halt, we were transfixed.

“What is that?” said the tall blonde, her tennis racket lax in one hand and the other shading her eyes from the sun so she could see better

I knew it was birds, but it wasn’t geese and it wasn’t ducks.

The hundreds of small birds, moving as one, looked like a large flat ribbon blowing in an inconsistent wind.

They were a river of birds waterfalling across unseen skyboulders and cliffs, their altitude never descending, the bird ribbon just fluttering farther.

It was quite beautiful and mesmerizing.

“Are those birds,” said my tennis opponent.

We watched until we could not see their swarm against the fall sky.

I didn’t think about them until I crawled into bed and Silent Bob’s leg draped across me as he curled around me.

He’s used to me getting up all times of the night.

With the glow from my computer the only one in my dark house, it took me a while to find the right search terms for Google.

They were a starling flock.

And as a flock they were doing physics.

The flock reacts as a single entity, their flight maneuvers carefully