A week of new words - 5. murmuration

Birds of a feather

At Potteric Carr
A myriad starlings swoon


I have used myriad deliberately, as it originally meant ten thousand.  This is how many starlings are thought to roost at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve at Potteric Carr, near Doncaster.  Each autumn evening, they murmurate, for reasons that no-one quite understands.  Ignorance is still bliss, though, for this is truly one of Europe's great nature spectacles.



As for the term, it seems it owes its modern popularity to York's own W. H. Auden:



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