For some, it may look like a romantic spectacle of nature, others associate this natural phenomenon with a horror movie scene, while for street sweepers it just means a lot of crap to clean. These “living clouds” created by thousands of starlings flying together have acquired the term murmuration. The way they all suddenly change direction or speed still holds the status of unexplained animal behavior, but there are theories to support both the scientific and the supernatural side of it.

Some say that the coordinated flight patterns of flocks that vary from 100 to 4000 birds is beyond biology. No matter the size of the flock, it remains unclear how the birds all respond to the same command instantly as if they were a single entity. Others, however, claim that the underlying maths is comparatively straightforward – starling murmuration is just the birds trying to stick close to each other for safety reasons. That way, they also instantly copy any changes in the movement of those birds flying next to them. If one starling changes its direction, others do the same, creating a magnificent rippling effect.

No matter what, it’s a magical sight and a great chance for cool photos! It occurs in February and November, so check out the sky every once in a while!