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.