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GreekReporter.comEnvironmentAnimalsMassive Flock of Starlings Over Greece Recreates Hitchcock's Birds

Massive Flock of Starlings Over Greece Recreates Hitchcock’s Birds

Starlings Greece
A massive flock of starlings was captured at the Rio-Antirrio bridge near the city of Patras. Video screenshot.

A massive flock of starlings descended near the city of Patras, Greece on Wednesday recreating a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s horror-thriller The Birds.

Thousands of starlings flew near and over the Rio-Antirrio bridge in a tight sphere-like formation. They are seen expanding and contracting and changing shape, seemingly without any sort of leader. Each common starling changes its course and speed as a result of the movement of its closest neighbors.

The astonishing scene with the massive flock of birds was captured on video.

Starlings are in abundance in Greece

The starling is a highly gregarious species, especially in autumn and winter. Although flock size is highly variable, huge, noisy flocks – murmurations – may form near roosts. These dense concentrations of birds are thought to be a defense against attacks by birds of prey such as peregrine falcons or Eurasian sparrowhawks.

Starlings are medium-sized birds with glossy black plumage with a metallic sheen, which is speckled with white at some times of the year.

This bird is resident in western and southern Europe and southwestern Asia, while northeastern populations migrate south and west in the winter within the breeding range and also further south to Iberia and North Africa.

Large flocks typical of this species can be beneficial to agriculture by controlling invertebrate pests; however, starlings can also be pests themselves when they feed on fruit and sprouting crops. Common starlings may also be a nuisance through the noise and mess caused by their large urban roosts.

The species has declined in numbers in parts of northern and western Europe since the 1980s due to fewer grassland invertebrates being available as food for growing chicks.

Despite this, its huge global population is not thought to be declining significantly, so the common starling is classified as being of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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