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Starling Swarms And Hunting Hawks

Flickr user, Seabamirum

"Starling Obfuscation," by Robin Childers.

"The starlings rose out of the treetops as though blown into the air by a sudden gust of wind, massing into a black, kidney-shaped ball that swelled and contracted overhead. The cloud of birds circled several times, then came back twittering to the tree, as if boasting about the riotous ride. I laughed out loud, turned on the video feature of my digital camera, and waited. Sure enough, a few minutes later, the starlings again exploded into the evening sky and I tracked them with my lens, turning circles in the grass. Were any of my neighbors watching this forty-something adult spinning circles in the backyard, head tilted back, laughing maniacally?"

(Broadcast: "Fieldnotes," 10/5/14 & 10/6/14, Sundays, 12:25 p.m. and Mondays, 3:00 p.m. Or via podcast.)

Beth Anne Austein has been spinning tunes on the air (The Folk Show, Dancing With Tradition, Freeforms), as well as recording, editing and mixing audio for Montana Public Radio and Montana PBS, since the Clinton Administration. She’s jockeyed faders or "fixed it in post” for The Plant Detective; Listeners Bookstall; Fieldnotes; Musicians Spotlight; The Write Question; Storycorps; Selected Shorts; Bill Raoul’s music series; orchestral and chamber concerts; lecture series; news interviews; and outside producers’ programs about topics ranging from philosophy to ticks.
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