During the winter months, large numbers of starlings visit Britain from the continent, seeking out the relative warmth of our island climate. As dusk arrives, the starlings set off for their communal roost in one of the most staggering natural spectacles of all. Flocks arrive from all directions, gathering in the skies above their roost sites. As the numbers reach into the tens and hundreds of thousands, the ‘murmurations’ (the name for a flying flock of starlings) take on incredible shapes in the sky, contracting and expanding as one flock merges into another, and taking on a life of their own; swirling back and forth in ever more complex and beautiful patterns.
If you can you should head to see this at potteric carr nature reserve during the winter months, I filmed this there on Sunday. Great family time outdoors too.
A recent report The State of the World’s Birds, found that agricultural expansion and intensification threatens 74% of the 1,469 bird species globally at risk of extinction. According to the report, at least 40% of bird species worldwide are in decline, but there are conservation success stories: according to BirdLife, 25 bird species would have gone extinct this century without targeted conservation work, which has helped remove these species from the “critically endangered” list Tris Allinson, senior global science officer for BirdLife International, which produced the report said “We could easily feed the world’s population and leave room for birds and other wildlife if we were more sensible and reduced our food waste and pesticide use and put the right crops in the right areas. They are big challenges but there are successful systems that marry wildlife conservation and productive landscapes for people.”