Migratory Starlings Put on Spectacular Performance Over Israeli Desert

NEGEV DESERT, Israel (Reuters) -
A murmuration of migrating starlings fly in a group above a waste facility near the city of Rahat, southern Israel, Tuesday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

Starlings wintering in Israel have been putting on a spectacular aerial dance display over the Negev desert every morning for the past two weeks.

The birds, which have come from Russia and eastern Europe, form dark, shifting shapes known as murmurations as they swirl through the skies of southern Israel.

A murmuration of migrating starlings fly in a group above a waste facility near the city of Rahat, Monday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

By grouping together, Tel Aviv University ornithologist Yossi Leshem told Reuters, the starlings find safety in numbers and their swirling movements confuse predators.