Starling murmurations dazzle in the dusk skies

Picture: Geoff White

Tens of thousands of starlings have been giving spectacular aerial displays as Winter beckons.

Just before dusk the birds gather over their roosting site and all swoop and dive in unison.

Experts think the birds perform the breath-taking aerial stunt for several reasons:

  • There’s safety in numbers and predators can’t pick-off single birds in the swirling mass.
  • They do it to keep warm and exchange information about the best places to feed.

Autumn roosts usually begin to form in November and more birds will join the flock.

More than 100,000 starlings can make up what’s known as a “murmuration”.

Bird expert Geoff White, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, said:

“It really is a spectacular sight as the birds swoop and dive and wheel, making amazing patterns.

“And, it’s all for free.

“You don’t need any special equipment – just look towards to skies.”


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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