After a long absence of some 20 years, short distance migrant starlings have started to return to Israel in 2012, a phenomenon experts find difficult to explain.

 

Video:
http://bcove.me/u3st3199

 

A flock of synchronized starlings formed spectacular sights of ‘dancing clouds’ in the skies of southern Israel on Monday.

The murmuration, a phenomenon when the synchronized flyover creates what seems to the eye to be a black cloud that randomly changes direction and form, took place near the Bedouin town of Rahat.

According to ornithologists the synchronized movement is aimed at helping the birds find food and creating a defense mechanism against birds of prey, which usually try to hunt individual birds and rarely attack big flocks.

After a long absence of some 20 years, short distance migrant starlings have started to return to Israel in 2012, a phenomenon experts find difficult to explain.

Today, hundreds of thousands of starlings inhabit Israel, compared to millions in the past, according to scientific estimations.
The common starling used to fly to Israel from Russia and Eastern Europe until the early 90’s in flocks of millions.

For an unknown reason, the number of the small birds migrating over Israel declined dramatically and they could no longer be seen in Israel’s skies.

But in 2012, their numbers began increasing and they were sighted for the first time above the Sea of Galilee.

Experts say that they are best to watch at dusk, when the birds flock for some 20 minutes of unique aerobatic display before retiring for the night.


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