Saturday, 2 February 2013
A Bird Ballet
Neels Castillon was filming a commercial near Marseille in France. While he and his colleagues were waiting for a helicopter to shoot they noticed something else was going on – something quite wonderful. It is known as a murmuration of starlings and it happens at dusk. Many thousands of starlings take to the skies at the same time and form a giant cloud. They wheel, turn, plummet and soar in an incredible natural spectacle that makes you wonder, quite honestly, how they do it without colliding in to each other!
You may well wonder why they do this. It seems that, as ever, there is safety in numbers and it is thought that this huge congregation of starlings all simultaneously on the move might help to confuse birds of prey.
Don’t be fooled by the huge numbers seen here, however. It has been estimated that starling numbers in the UK and France have plummeted by an incredible 70% in recent years. We may be the last generation to witness this spectacle.