When the European starling was brought to the United States in the 1800’s they immediately flourished, multiplying at astounding numbers. Today, they fly in agricultural areas in what are known as mumurations, or megaflocks. As the starlings fly in a beautifully moving blob in the sky, onlookers are given an avian show for the ages. For predators, it gives them a chance at an easy meal.
With the highly condensed flock of birds feeding during the day, it gives predatory falcons the opportunity to hunt for the starlings, picking them off from the flock for food. Nick Dunlop specializes in avian photography and his many hours observing the interactions between birds and their falcon hunters show an incredible dance of predator and prey.
Falcons are much smarter than their starling prey, but the smaller bird prove to be much faster than the falcon, making it difficult to capture even a single one from the giant cluster. But it nature, all it takes is one lucky strike to get a hefty meal for the day.
What an incredible display of nature.
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine