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Common Starling / Sturnus Vulgaris. Common indeed but still a beautiful bird and all the more impressive when seen flying in their thousands (known as murmuratuons). Photo by Estornino Pinto Santiago M. C

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Starling - Most people dislike this bird but I love them. They can mimic any sound and I had one that used to "bark" at my feeder if it was out of suet!

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Pictures of the day: 6 December 2010

Thousands of starlings surround a lone bird of prey which had swooped down to pick off a straggler. "Starlings have a very particular way of defending themselves from their predators like falcons and harriers. They form a large tightly packed flock and mob their enemy, scaring it off, frequently expanding and contracting and changing shape."

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Big picture: Starlings, by Paolo Patrizi

Shape-shifting flocks (murmurations) of European Starlings, returning at dusk after a day of foraging in the countryside to the city, where it's warmer and fewer predators exist __ Photograph: Paolo Patriz

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A Murmuration of Starlings. From a distance they sound like a waterfall, all those beating wings as they settle for the night after their ariel acrobactics. Just magical. Go see and HEAR.

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You Won't Believe These Patterns Created by Flocks of Birds in Flight

Alain Delorme: Murmurations series - Ephemeral Plastic Sculptures, These are actually plastic bags representing birds, the artist seeks to question the fragility of the ecosystem against pollution. | Art Installations, Sculpture, Contemporary Art

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One of our struggling species... you may see lots of starlings in your garden but they are actually in decline. Are you still lucky enough to have them visit your garden? Big Garden #Birdwatch.

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