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  • Writer's pictureTrish Beauchamp

What we can learn from a flock of starlings

A murmuration of starlings appears as a shape-shifting cloud, moving and twisting in the sky.

This synchronised aerial dance continues to mystify scientists as they have discovered the flock of birds fly in all directions, without colliding or pushing a neighbour out of formation.

During a murmuration, each bird must stay aware of its closest neighbours, the starlings work together as a team. They fly as a unified community, providing ongoing support to each other. Scientists believe their movements are coordinated by the birds constantly observing others around them and staying in flow with the community they are part of. By forming a murmuration the birds can defend each other against danger and create physical warmth. Scientists have also proposed starlings congregate to share information about food sources and areas to roost for the night. A starling on one side of the flock can respond to what others are sensing all the way across the flock.

What can we learn from starlings, about living in a community?

1) We can be assured of knowing someone ‘has your back’ when life has an unexpected happening — it could be family, friends, neighbours, well-being support or your work environment.

Community connection during natural disasters consistently demonstrates this. Food, shelter, safety and essential information are willingly offered to those in need.

2) The murmuration always moves as one large being — there is no ‘pecking order’ as each bird shares responsibility towards creating this spontaneous phenomenon. It is a community that demonstrates mutual cooperation, with an individual commitment to the group.

3) The birds willingly join a murmuration. It’s possible to become part of a community whilst maintaining personal autonomy and individual space. There is also an opportunity to choose a different community if desired.

By observing a murmuration of starlings we are reminded that we do not need to navigate life alone ... and we can be both dependent on others and independent as we travel the path of our choosing.

Please contact me if I can assist you with navigating your current life journey




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