Videos of Beautiful Murmurations (Flock of Starlings - Bird Swarms)

Murmurations are like a dance party in the sky, where starlings come together in large numbers to perform a mesmerizing aerial ballet. They twist, turn, swoop, and swirl in unison, creating beautiful shape-shifting clouds that are a sight to behold.

Just before dusk, small groups of starlings from the same area gather above a communal roosting site. As the sun sets, the group grows larger and larger, moving in perfect harmony to create a stunning display of nature’s beauty. (learn more)



Dance of the STARLINGS by Claire Droppert (murmuration)





Starling murmuration 2020 #Geldermalsen





Nature's Mystery: Watch the Hypnotic Dance of a Starling Murmuration





Ten Million Starlings Swarm, Rome, Italy





Video By Dylan Winter





Nature: Starling murmurations





Murmuration (Official Video) by Sophie Windsor Clive & Liberty Smith





Starlings Murmuration Adrenaline!





Starling Behavior and Habitat

Juvenile Starling

Starlings, particularly the European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), exhibit a range of fascinating behaviors that have been the subject of various studies.


Murmurations

Murmurations, the spectacular pre-roost displays by European starlings, are a prime example of collective animal behavior. Possible explanations for murmurations include reducing predation through the dilution, detection, or predator confusion effects (the "safer together" hypotheses) or recruiting more birds to create larger (warmer) roosts (the "warmer together" hypothesis). The presence of predators like harrier, peregrine falcon, and sparrowhawk positively correlated with murmuration size and duration. When predators were present, murmurations were more likely to end with all birds descending en masse to roost​​.


Mating Habits

Starling Exhibiting Mating Behavior

The mating habits of starlings begin in late February and can continue through June. Males choose a nesting site and attract a female through various behaviors, such as perching near the nest site, crowing, and wing-waving when a female flies nearby. Males may also pick up leaves in their beaks and go in and out of the nest cavity to attract a female. Pairing is evident when the birds start engaging in activities together. Before pairing, starlings feed and travel individually. They are mainly monogamous, but males may change mates between broods, and they do not mate for life​​.


Nesting Habits

Starling Feeding Its Young

Starlings prefer to nest in cavities. They often take over the holes made by other birds, such as woodpeckers, or utilize natural crevices in trees. However, their adaptability is evident in their use of a variety of man-made structures like eaves, street lights, and nest boxes, making them a common sight in urban environments. Starlings are also known for their communal nesting behavior, often forming large colonies that can include hundreds of nests clustered together. This social aspect of their nesting not only provides safety in numbers but also facilitates the sharing of information about food sources among the colony members. Inside their nests, which are somewhat untidy and lined with grasses, feathers, and other soft materials, starlings lay four to six pale blue or greenish eggs, which they incubate for about two weeks. The young are then fed by both parents, a testament to the starlings' cooperative breeding behavior.


Feeding Habits

Starling Feeding using Gaping Technique

Starlings have a unique feeding habit due to their strong muscles, which allow them to open their beaks while probing the ground. This behavior, known as gaping, enables them to catch prey that is unavailable to other birds. Their diet is diverse, including insects, spiders, worms, fruit, seeds, grains, livestock feed, and garbage. At bird feeders, they consume seeds and suet, and they can be aggressive, often keeping smaller birds away. Starlings differ from most birds in their ability to sense some smells and tastes, as most songbirds have weak taste and smell senses​​.


Regions Where Found and Habitat

Global Map of Starling Habitat

Starlings are native to western and central Eurasia and northern Africa. Several European and Asian species have been introduced to North and South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and several islands where they compete with native birds and are considered invasive species. The common starling is well-known in Europe and North America, while the common myna is prevalent throughout much of Asia and the Pacific. This species is adaptable to a wide range of habitats, including semiopen, open, and mixed environments, as well as urban, suburban, and rural areas.


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