Cityvisitor blog

Murmurations make me smile

I learned a lovely new word this week – murmuration.

A murmuration of starlings is when thousands of these birds flock together and swoop through the skies. You have probably seen one – it looks like a huge black shape moving around and usually happens just before it gets dark.

The RSPB explains: “We think that starlings do it for many reasons. Grouping together offers safety in numbers – predators such as peregrine falcons find it hard to target one bird in the middle of a hypnotising flock of thousands.

“They also gather to keep warm at night and to exchange information, such as good feeding areas. They gather over their roosting site, and perform their wheeling stunts before they roost for the night.”

A murmuration makes an amazing sight that has often been captured on camera. The flock can contain as many as 100,000 starlings.

I discovered the word after one of these murmurations made it into the news this week after deciding to land in the middle of a road in Norfolk! The thousands of starlings blocked the road when they landed in Flitcham, near King’s Lynn.

If you have not been lucky enough to see a starling murmuration, there is actually a website dedicated to this very spectacle of nature. The Starlings in the UK site shares information about the best places to see murmurations.

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