A Constellation of European Starlings and a Bison

/, Antelope Island State Park, Birds, Davis County, European Starlings, Utah/A Constellation of European Starlings and a Bison

Close up of a Bison and European StarlingsClose up of a Bison and European Starlings – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I’m quite used to seeings birds and bison in close proximity on Antelope Island State Park not just during the warmer months but during the winter too. In December of 2014 I had an opportunity to photograph American Bison on a hill on the southern part of the island with flocks of birds flying near them and landing on them. The light was spectacular that day and the distant storm clouds made for interesting and dramatic backgrounds at times. Most of the images I took that day had flocks of European Starlings and a Bison or two in them.

A group of starlings can be called a “murmuration”, “filth”, “scourge”, “vulgarity” or a “constellation” of starlings, I prefer to use a “murmuration” or a “constellation”, thus I used the title “A Constellation of European Starlings and a Bison” for this post. I know a great many people despise starlings because they are non-native and compete aggressively with native species for nesting sites but I simply can’t bring myself to think of them as vulgar.

Life is good.



  1. Molly January 10, 2016 at 2:02 am

    this image is pure magic. thx

  2. Elephant's Child January 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    The other names say more about the user than the birds.
    I am still fascinated by your bison. They appear almost prehistoric and are sooooo alien to me.

  3. Utahbooklover January 9, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Interesting image. I enjoy watching a constellation of starlings in flight, but last year had the misfortune of being under one in Corrine. Immediately went to the car wash!

  4. dinahmow January 9, 2016 at 11:44 am

    It’s refreshing NOT to hear the braying of the biggest non-native against the smaller.

  5. April Olson January 9, 2016 at 11:12 am


  6. Patty Chadwick January 9, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Wonderful shot! Love the variety of wing positions this image offers. I think of a lot of starlings as a “chatter” of Starlings, because that’s what they sound like to me. They remind me of a TV program called “THE VIEW”, where a tableful of women are all talking at the same time and no one is listening to anyone else…

  7. Jo Ann Donnelly January 9, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Impressive capture, Mia!!

  8. Bob Mcpherson January 9, 2016 at 6:53 am

    incredible photo, Mia.

  9. steven kessel January 9, 2016 at 6:01 am

    Great photo! The bison appears to be bemused . . . . .

Comments are closed.