The starling population has fallen by 66% since the mid-1970s according to The Guardian’s article, “Scientists call on public to help solve mystery of starlings’ aerial displays,” which was published last year. Those who’re fortunate to witness a murmuration see thousands of starlings flying close together, creating swirling flight patterns in the autumn or winter sky. Scientists still don’t know why starlings engage in this behavior though they’ve proposed some theories.
Dr. Anne Goodenough at the University of Gloucestershire adds, “Not enough scientific research has been undertaken on murmurations and too much observation of them has been anecdotal. Where studies have taken place, they have tended to focus on two or three murmuration sites… Understanding where and when murmurations occur would be useful information to help stop starlings’ decline and better protect them.” Unfortunately the public survey found in that article is now closed. but you can enjoy the spectacle in the following video.