The Commoners, a Story about Starlings
I just heard from filmmaker Penny Lane about her fascinating new video about European Starlings. That’s right, I said starlings. Sure, the European Starling ranks up there as one of the most obnoxious exotic avians to invade North America. Sure, they’re a blight on crops and offensive to anyone unfortunate enough to park beneath a roosting murmuration. But starlings have a lot going for them as well from that dapper plumage to the miraculous megadynamics of their flocks in flight. You should see the uncanny vocalizations of one of these unsung mimics in this video’s introduction!
The Commoners is, as the filmmakers describe, “a moving image essay about starlings, poetry, and the purist rhetoric used to describe ‘invasive species.’ It is also the tale of Schieffelin’s Folly, the ill-considered effort of one misguided lit-lover to collect every bird ever mentioned in Shakespeare and release them into Central Park.
As a native New Yorker, I’ve had more than my fill of starlings. However, I really enjoyed the The Commoners. You can see an excerpt of this well-crafted video as well as learn more about how to find the full version here. And, if enough interest is expressed in the comments section below, perhaps we can arrange for a giveaway…