Look in gardens, parks, farms and towns. This month try visiting sheltered woodlands, reedbeds, cliffs, farm and buildings structures at dusk to see if you can spot a murmuration.
Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are easily identifiable when close by their very glossy feathers which seem to glow with a purply green sheen. They are also very noisy and confident, often spending their time hanging out together in groups. They are also excellent at mimicking sounds and copy all sorts of noises from other animals to ringing mobile phones! Starlings are widespread across Britain except for the highest parts of the Scottish Highlands and can be found both in towns and the countryside. They are most abundant in southern England but due to becoming scarce in some areas on the UK Red List needing urgent conservation action. They mainly eat invertebrates and fruit.
In winter, starlings start gathering together in massive flocks which can reach up to 100,000 birds in some places! It’s thought that they roost together in such large numbers to keep warm at night and to ‘gossip’ so that they can let each other swap information, such as the sites of good feeding areas. However, it is their wheeling, aerial displays above their roosting sites before they settle for the night called murmurations that are truly breath-taking!
Tweet of the Day
To hear the starling’s song follow the link below to the BBC’s Tweet of the Day