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Wire-dotter, pylon-swarmer, dusk-dancer, aerial-clinger … these are just some of author and poet Rob Cowen’s descriptions of these shimmering birds, the Starlings, in his poem ‘Starling’ from his recently published book The Heeding (Elliott and Johnson, London, 2021). I’m not a great reader of poetry but this work is magical, and includes the stunning illustrations of Nick Hayes – I highly recommend their work.

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And Starlings are also magical: musicians that entertain with their broad repertoire of trills and whistles, flutes and warbles; murmuraters that fly en masse with remarkable precision; fashionistas that dazzle with the greens, purples and blues of their iridescent plumage.

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