Béziers "Autumn Starlings" - 29 November 2015

Most of us think of starlings as being resident birds and, it is true, that most are with us year round. Others are migratory though. These account for the huge increase in the starling population which occurs when birds, from northern Europe, arrive to spend the winter in the Southern Europe (here in Béziers for example) because the weather is relatively mild here and they will be able to find food and shelter before returning to their breeding territories.

They begin to arrive during October but the majority of starlings will arrive in November, before the winter weather sets in. Most of the birds coming here are from Scandinavia

During winter, starlings roost together and these are not just a few birds huddling in thick cover. One site can be a roosting place for over one million birds!

One of the great birding spectacles of the winter is the starlings' pre-roost assembly. Prior to settling down for the night, small flocks of these gregarious birds swoop around, joining together until there is one enormous, swirling mass: an amazing sight.

N.B. Don't park your car under a tree infested with starlings!

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