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Starling Sky

Posted on Oct 31, 2009 | 5 comments

Walking through Largo Arenula, I was greeted with a familiar winter site and sound – thousands of starlings, ebbing and flowing through the sky, calling out to one another. It is an incredible site and when you see it for the first time, you think there’s some sort of apocalypse happening. But no, it’s just birds. The fascination wears off quickly when the rainstorm of bird droppings begins and the entire area begins to smell like a pet store. I didn’t know much about starlings before, but a quick google search turns up quite a bit of information. Last Fall quite a bit of coverage was given to a sort of “bird stalking” squad that was trying to disperse the birds, especially after they caused an emergency landing at Ciampino airport. A beautiful photography slideshow, accompanied by a spoken narrative, from the New York Times is quite spectacular. And if you need to see it to believe it, check out this short clip of starlings in Trastevere.


  1. That's just creepy. Reminds me Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and gives me the heebie jeebies. Great Halloween post!

    word verification: trance. Hmmm, fits with the post.

  2. I feel bad for people who don't know about these darn birds and park their cars under a tree.

    Yuck. And I agree with you, the smell is awful.

  3. GunDiva – It IS a little creepy for sure! And very much like the birds. Haha the stars were aligning on Halloween.

    NYC – Yes! It must be awful. They're also really bad down in EUR. I remember being down there last winter and the sidewalks were literally caked with droppings, it was a nightmare.

  4. Hi…

    I know this is such a late comment but I came across your blog randomly surfing…
    These birds are one my clearest memories of Rome. I was there last winter and absolutely fell in love with the city, the nights, the mix of old and new…
    These birds were like a little storm or tornado headed our way when we were walking up to the Mouth of Truth. Nothing I'd read about Rome mentioned this…

  5. Jus Me – Thanks for commenting. I'm glad to help you discover what they actually were! Believe me, it confused me for a long time as well. I hope you'll return and continue to read the blog.

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