Scientists need your help in recording where and when you see starling murmurations across the UK in order to help them solve the mysteries of this behaviour.
The citizen science survey run by The University of Gloucestershire and Royal Society of Biology has received information on more than 900 sightings since November 2015 and they are starting to uncover some insights into the spectacle. However the researchers are now keen to gather as many records as possible of the largest murmurations, which are expected between now and March.
Starling murmurations occur when many individual birds gather together and fly as a group to form swirling aerial patterns in the sky. Sometimes called 'the ballet of the skies', this biological phenomenon is very poorly understood.
Starling numbers have declined alarmingly - since the mid-1970s the UK population has fallen by 66 per cent. The starling is now red listed in the UK as a bird of immediate conservation concern. The cause of the starling decline is thought to link to habitat loss and reduction in food, but much is unknown.
Record your starling murmurations now via the Royal Society of Biology website www.rsb.org.uk/StarlingSurvey. The survey takes less than a minute to complete and the scientists are especially keen to have multiple records from the same sites, as well as one-off sightings.
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