Stunning photos show a flock of starlings flying in formation over a lake in Ireland, assuming the shape of a big bird.
Photographer James Crombie captured a flawlessly synced flock of birds flying above Lough Ennell, Co. Westmeath, near Mullingar, on Tuesday evening (2 March).
The photographs are fantastic, as you will no sure agree.
Photographer Crombie has visited Lough Ennell over 50 times in search of the ideal position for photographing the birds.
“I’m normally a sports photographer, so for a while I’ve had a little of time to think about other things,” Crombie, who was just nominated press photographer of the year by the Press Photographers Association of Ireland, told The Irish Times.
“I saw they were forming forms.” I kept returning to acquire the image in my brain.”
Crombie claims that it took him months to obtain the shots he wanted, with the photographer shooting between 400 and 500 frames before he discovered the right ones.
“A friend of mine, Colin Hogg, who lives near the lake, told me last year that the starlings would make a fantastic photograph,” he added.
“They build their nests in the reeds around the lake, and they migrate every four or five days toward sunset, making shapes as they do so.”
The starlings are seen sweeping and diving in tandem, a technique known as’murmuration.’
When hundreds or thousands of creatures or entities move together as one, this is known as swarm behavior.
Starlings have been known to form love hearts and even Christmas stockings during previous murmurations.
Photographer Ed Sykes of Halifax, West Yorkshire, captured the enormous stocking on video just weeks before Christmas.
“Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve visited the place several times to shoot the starlings,” he stated.
“It’s fantastic to get such an appropriate shot as we go into December and prepare for Christmas.”
Starlings congregate to defend themselves from predators, as well as to remain warm and communicate.
Unfortunately, starlings are among the most endangered birds in the UK, with the population dropping by more than 80% in recent years.
Words: Cilene Tanaka
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock/James Crombie