STAR­LING

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month October -

Like the Dun­lin fea­tured as our Bird of the Month, the Star­ling comes into its own when gath­ered in big num­bers. From late sum­mer and through­out the win­ter, Star­lings gather in the evening, of­ten in flocks of many thou­sands of birds to roost com­mu­nally. Th­ese ‘mur­mu­ra­tions’ of thou­sands or even mil­lions of Star­lings swirling like ever mor­ph­ing smoke are rightly renowned as one of the most won­der­ful nat­u­ral spec­ta­cles. Star­lings start to gather as the sun sets, near their favoured mass roost­ing sites. Over some time small flocks and in­di­vid­u­als gather into the mass, fly­ing round form­ing mag­nif­i­cent amoe­boid shapes un­til the time is right. Then the whole flock ap­pears to be sucked by a vac­uum down to the reeds or bushes in which they will roost.

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