[Tweeters] The Wave

jeff gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Tue Mar 12 09:45:03 PDT 2013

This last Winter a big flock of Starlings was murmurating over the stadium during a Seattle Seahawk's game. They were poetry in motion as they rippled in a perfectly coordinated flight of thousands.

Two of them, Steve and Stella, were at the edge of the flock when Steve started watching the game.

" What are those animals doing down there?" Steve asked. Stella didn't really have a good answer- the behavior of Humans was a big topic of conversation under the bridge for the evening roost. "What ARE they doing down there?" was always the big question, and the analysis went on for chattering hours. Stella wasn't sure, based on observation, that even the Humans really knew what they were doing half the time, if not a lot more. But she had picked up a few details- she was a smart Starling, and had always had good nesting success.

"Oh, that's a Seahawks game" she replied, "those big ones out in the field are Seahawks, I think".

" 'Seahawks,' that's a good name, those Ospreys are always crashing into things, but why are these guys crashing into each other?"

"I don't know" Stella replied, feeling that Steve was being a bit unfair to Osprey's. Oh sure they crashed into the water all the time, but often came up with a fish dinner- that made sense.

Steve went on; " and what are they doing with that big seed pod down there, the one that they all keep chasing after and fighting over - it must be slippery, they keep dropping it. Why doesn't somebody just break the damn thing open and get done with it?".

Stella was getting a bit tired of Steve's endless questions. "The over examined life isn't worth living" she quietly intoned.

Just then one of the Seahawks grabbed the big seed pod and carried it all the way to one end of the field, then threw it to the ground, and did a little dance. "Why didn't he break it open it eat it!' Steve yelled. A huge roar erupted from the stands, and the humans up there all started to move. " Oh look Steve, it's The Wave!" Stella called out, as thousands of Beer, hotdog and popcorn sodden fans stood up and down in sort of a funky wave, which, based on the noise level, the humans seemed pretty excited

Steve was doubled over in laughter. " And I bet they think that's coordinated!" he snorted through his beak.

"Well at least they're trying!" Stella said. Steve was still immersed in ridicule, and drifting a bit farther away from the flock. " I bet they think that's murmuration! Even an Osprey could murmurate better than that- why even a...... ". Then a quick movement came out of the South.

Stella called out ''LOOK OUT STEVE ! IT'S A PERE...." but it was too late, and the Peregrine had already snagged poor ol' Steve. "STELLA!" Steve yelled, "Stella!! ............................stell....". Steve was a goner.

So I guess, when out in the field, it's better to pay attention to your own actions, rather than overly criticizing the murmurations of others.

Jeff Gibson
Everett Wa

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