Posted: 04/07/2015 at 12:24
Verdun, starlings numbers have reduced by over 60% since the 1970s - they're on the Red List for conservation concern.
The reason for the decline in numbers seems to be an accumulation of several factors - lack of suitable nest sites due to refurbishment of old buildings etc. - changes in farming practices eg a uge reduction in the number of dairy farms with their permanent grazing pastures containing the high number of invertebrates that they need, especially for feeding the nestlings, and of course, the drier summers which also mean a reduction in soil invertebrates.
The large flocks we see performing their murmurations near the winter roosts contain a huge number of winter migrants from as far away as northern Russia.