Moments before swooping to their roosts as the sun set on 2010, the last starling murmuration of 2010 formed a heart that beat twice before dispersing into the evening air.
A number of theories attempt to explain the birds’ behaviour: the ‘safety in numbers’ principle (self explanatory); or that none of them wants to be first to roost; and lastly perhaps that each wishes to roost next to a bigger and more successful companion who may lead them to their source of food the next day.
The French name for starling, “etourneau“, derives from the Latin “sturnus“. Although it carries intimations of eternity, the word has an entirely different etymology. However, entirely credible that Rome, with its millions of starlings twittering furiously, fluttering and swarming across the skies, dropping tons of toxic shit onto its priceless ruins, may have earned the nickname ‘eternal city’ through such a misunderstanding— “La cité des etournaux” has a certain ring of truth to it.
Alors, love and magic on New Year’s Eve — may 2011 bring you both.