I love it when I read a general news article about birds that is both well-written and accurate. And the Sunday New York Times has an extraordinary article about starlings written by Jonathan Rosen that perfectly fits the bill. He weaves natural history, human history, and the arts in a lovely article inspired by an art exhibit of Richard Barnes’s photographs of starlings, which Rosen writes:
capture the double nature of the birds — or at least the double nature of our relationship to them — recording the pointillist delicacy of the flock and something darker, almost sinister in the gathering mass. Many of Barnes’s photographs, which will be shown at Hosfelt Gallery in New York this fall, were taken over two years in EUR, a suburb of Rome that Mussolini planned as a showcase for fascist architecture. The man-made backdrop only enhances the sense of the vast flock as something malign, a sort of avian Nuremberg rally.The entire article is really and truly worth a read.