The Small Dark Birds in the Fields 

You may have seen thousands of small black birds swirling over the fields in Washington and all over Utah. You may also see them strung along the electrical wires holding “bird church”. These are European Starlings, and they are very active during the spring months.

European Starlings are not native to North America. In 1890, 80 of the birds were released in New York’s Central Park and have since spread across the continent. With numbers in the hundreds of millions, they can cause problems for native birds and do damage to crops. 

Starlings Can Learn to Talk 

A video went viral or a man in New Jersey who taught his pet Starling to talk. These birds are intelligent and will mimic the sounds they hear in nature, so it is not surprising that this one learned to say, “I love you” and “scrappy baby”. 

Even though they are wild birds, they can be tamed and become pets. They are known for bonding with their caretaker and can be affectionate. They are very curious and can even learn to do tricks. 

Thousands Fly Together 

One of the most spectacular things to watch is when they fly together, swooping in and around close to the ground. This usually happens in the evenings over open fields. It is like a cloud of birds moving together and forming patterns. 

Researchers call it murmurations, an awesome word, and they believe they do this as a means of protection or possibly to gather for warmth on cold spring nights.

Whatever the reason, it is inspiring to watch. Next time you see them swarming, pull over and watch the show.

LOOK: 30 fascinating facts about sleep in the animal kingdom

Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

Gallery Credit: Andrew Vale

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