During Autumn, countries across Europe and south east Asia witness starlings flying through in their hundreds and thousands – often millions – usually between the months of October to December, drawing extraordinary patterns in the skyline. This natural phenomenon, called 'murmuration'– a swarm-like behaviour, creating complex shapes and silhouettes against the sky. With more and more starlings joining the flock as the weeks go on, it has been known for the sky to be completely filled with the murmuration of the birds, particularly in places such as Israel, Rome and across the borders with Greece and Macedonia where the weather is warmer. Starlings are very adaptable birds and over the centuries they have expanded their numbers and range in the wake of farmers, wherever suitable conditions became available, travelling in breathtaking flocks.

However, sights such as this have become rare – starling populations have declined over the years, although this has not prevented them starlings from continuing their acrobatic flights, as they continue to fly through countries across Europe during the colder seasons, before returning for the spring.

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A flock of migrating starlings is seen as they perform their traditional dance before landing to sleep during the sunset near the southern Israeli village of Tidhar, in the northern Israeli Negev desertMenahem Kahana/ Getty Images
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Starlings fly in the sky at sunset in Rome, ItalyFilippo Monteforte/ Getty Images
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Starlings migrating from northern Europe fly in the sky of Rome, ItalyGabriel Bouys/ Getty Images
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A flock of starlings is seen as they perform their traditional dance fly before landing to sleep during the sunset near the southern Arab Israeli city of Rahat, in the northern Israeli Negev desertMenahem Kahana/ Getty Images
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Starlings migrating from northern Europe fly in the sky above Rome, ItalyTiziana Fabi/ Getty Images
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A flock of starlings is seen as they perform their traditional dance fly before landing to sleep during the sunset near the southern Arab Israeli city of Rahat, in the northern Israeli Negev desertMenahem Kahana/ Getty Images
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Thousands of starlings flock above farmland and a Casino near the Macedonian border town of Gevgelija close the border with GreeceYannis Behrakis/ Reuters
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Starlings migrating from northern Europe fly over Rome, ItalyGabriel Bouys/ Getty Images
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A flock of starlings is seen as they perform their traditional dance fly before landing to sleep during the sunset near the southern Arab Israeli city of Rahat, in the northern Israeli Negev desertMenahem Kahana/ Getty Images
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A murmuration of migrating starlings is seen in the sky over the city of Beer Sheva in southern IsraelAmir Cohen/ Reuters
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A murmuration of migrating starlings is seen in the sky over the Israeli southern city of Beer Sheva, in the Negev desert of southern IsraelAmir Cohen/ Reuters
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A Black Kite flies near migrating starlings in southern IsraelAmir Cohen/ Reuters
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Migrating starlings fly outside a Bedouin village in southern IsraelAmir Cohen/ Reuters
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A murmuration of migrating starlings is seen across the sky over the town of Netivot in southern IsraelAmir Cohen/ Reuters
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A murmuration of starlings performing their traditional dance fly before landing to sleep near the southern Arab Israeli city of Rahat, in the northern Israeli Negev desertMenahem Kahana/ Getty Images