Video: Massive starling murmuration sees thousands of birds fly together above Israel

Starlings fly in murmurations to keep warm, find food and defend themselves against birds of prey

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The Independent Online

Stunning footage has been released that shows tens of thousands of starlings flying together in a massive murmuration in the skies above southern Israel.

The incredible natural event was captured near Rahat and shows the mass of birds moving together to create hypnotizing shapes against the dawn sky.

A murmuration occurs when a large group of starlings move in synchronicity and create massive black clouds in the skies.

The unique synchronised movement is designed to help starlings catch prey and keep the birds warm.

It is also a way of warding off attacks from large birds of prey, which are far less likely to attack the birds when they are in these big groups.

The gathering of starlings in southern Israel marks a return of the birds to the country after a massive decrease was recorded over the past two decades.

Conservationists say that that is changing now and in recent times there has been a marked increase in the number of starlings migrating through and to Israel.