When I watched this video a couple months ago, I 1) was awe-struck, and 2) thought I would never be so lucky as to experience a murmuration flying overhead. But as chance would have it, the latter proved to be wrong! On Christmas evening, just as dusk was falling, we stumbled upon a murmuration undulating over one of the piazzas. We stopped and stared.

My lame iPhone video really doesn’t do justice to the majesty of this phenomenon. It felt like I was lost in some kind of alternate reality looking up and watching these thousands of starlings move in unison, swarming densely together and then bursting and dissipating like fireworks. It’s fluid motion that is created by living things, but it’s like the movement itself is alive. It was truly mesmerizing. After witnessing it in real life, I started looking into why and how this movement happens, and my research shows that there’s definitely a science to it, but it’s a science that is yet to be fully understood. I’m kind of glad that there isn’t a concrete explanation for it; there’s something very enchanting about the unknown. Nature and all of its workings are utterly perplexing and astounding and enchanting if you stop and think about it. The great mysteries of the universe are magical and beautiful, and my encounter with a Roman murmuration is proof of that.


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