Richard Barnes – Murmur
“(…) A consortium of ornithologists, physicists and biologists in Italy and other European countries has begun studying the birds with the aim of learning not only about the relationship of individual birds to the surrounding flock but about human behavior as well. The project, named StarFLAG, entertains hopes of using the birds to illuminate herding responses in human beings with a particular eye on stock-market panics.
More and more, as surrounding habitat is flattened, we may find fragments of the wild world coming home, literally, to roost. The abundance of starlings in Rome is partly the result of climate change – they used to go farther south before Roman winters warmed up. Bird-watching thrives on the recognition that the urban and the wild must be understood together. We are, after all, urban and wild ourselves, and still figuring out how to make the multiple aspects of our nature mesh without disaster. (…)”