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BBC Earth – Swarms of ten million starlings in Rome

An evening pause: These birds know nothing of social distancing. And good for them!

Hat tip Cotour.


Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Skunk Bucket

    These images of huge flocks of birds in flight are beautiful and mesmerizing, but the poop problem is very real. When I was a child back in the late sixties and early seventies, the campus of the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley faced the same issue that Rome does now. Millions of jet black starlings (a non-native species in the US) would fly in for the night after a day’s feasting on the bountiful Weld county fields. Their cacophony was near deafening and the resulting mess disgusting.
    The university came up with a plan in which campus personnel and neighbors in the immediately surrounding area would simultaneously play that same starling distress call on whatever audio equipment they could find and bang blocks of wood together until the flocks took off.
    Living just a block from campus, my father, a professor there, would haul our big console stereo out onto the front porch, then play that horrendous screeching bird noise while my little sister and I banged our blocks together until our ears rang. Our neighbors up and down the street did likewise.
    It was all very scientific, with the local experts determining the best time of the evening to launch the attacks. It evidently worked, too, because as I grew older, flocks of starling weren’t an issue anymore. Still, for years after that we would occasionally pull out that 45 of the tortured starling and play it on the stereo to drive our pet cats absolutely batty.

  • Alex Andrite

    Call in the Falcon’s.

  • Captain Emeritus

    Just before dark, a crop-duster would spray liquid detergent over the massive roost.
    Spraying was timed to co-ordinate with light rain falling, and near freezing temperatures.
    The detergent washed away the birds protective oils, and they simply froze to death overnight.
    Front end loaders hauled them away, along with their droppings, measured in feet, below the trees.
    I still have small scaring in a lung from my own bout with histoplasmosis..
    That was the way the infestations were handled near Memphis Tn. in the late fifties.

  • Chris

    Mother Natures swarming drones

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