The Hypnotic Flight Pattern of Over 70,000 Starlings Taking Off Together Over the English Countryside

BBC Earth Unplugged has captured the beautiful and hypnotic flight pattern of a murmuration of over 70,000 starlings as they flew in synchronized order with one another above a field in the English countryside.

It has been suggested that starling murmurations occur because starlings gain safety in numbers, confusing potential predators such as birds of prey before settling down to roost. Another theory is that they could be gathering to keep warm or exchange information. However, despite starling murmurations being an incredible spectacle, the biology of murmurations remains little studied.

The Royal Society of Biology is currently conducting a survey amongst British citizens in order to collect more information about the declining numbers within starling murmurations.

Starling numbers have declined alarmingly over the last few years. And since the mid-1970s the UK population has fallen by 66%. The starling is now red listed as a bird of high conservation concern. The cause of the starling decline in the UK is unknown.

A longer version of the starling flight.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.