Interesting Facts About Starling Birds Murmuring in the Winter Sky
Ever looked up in the dusking sky during winter or fall? If you happen to live in the Northern Hemisphere and looked up, then, the chances are you have been dazzled by the uncountable numbers of birds swirling in the sky, creating intricate dance-like movements. This ritualistic swirling is usually performed by a flock of common starling birds.
In their flight to migrate toward a warmer hemisphere, starling birds take stoppage to rest for a week or so. It is when they perform murmuration, mostly when the sun is setting down. It makes up for a mysterious sight, which is still baffling scientists and bird watchers alike.
So, today, we list down a few interesting facts that are so far known to the scientists about the starling’s murmuration or the coordinated afternoon ritual below.
Why Do the Flocks of Starlings Murmurs?
Even after years of observations, bird-watchers and researchers still couldn’t come up with too many plausible explanations for the common starling bird’s murmuration. The common consensus is that it is a practical defence against a haunting predator - something like a falcon who likes to munch on a starling.
It is assumed that by being in a group and constantly creating different waves and patterns, they save themselves from getting caught by a predator. However, the sheer size of the flock can also alert the predators and attract them, denting the explanations a little.
Other Interesting Facts
Just like the bees, murmuring flocks of starling birds follow some general patterns. These are:
- Starlings murmur without an obvious leader as the entire flock act as a single entity.
- The waves and patterns are rapidly transformative, creating overlaps and changing both in terms of the shape and the density of birds.
- The secret behind the brilliant coordination comes from each starling bird mimicking its seven neighbours in given murmurs.
- The number of starlings in a murmur is usually fixed, which sometimes can be divided into two nearby groups.