Watch huge starling murmuration at Ripon City wetlands

A North Yorkshire nature reserve has been treated to its biggest ever starling murmuration display.

An estimated 250,000 of the birds swarmed in the skies above Ripon City Wetlands over the weekend of 18 February.

Avian enthusiasts have been treated to the display at the site throughout January and February, with North Yorkshire Wildlife Trust encouraging visitors to watch the spectacle.

Roosts tend to form in autumn and grow in size as the weeks go on.

The behaviour, known as murmuration, is performed for "many reasons" according to the RSPB.

"Grouping together offers safety in numbers – predators such as peregrine falcons find it hard to target one bird in the middle of a hypnotising flock of thousands," the organisation said.

"They also gather to keep warm at night and to exchange information, such as good feeding areas."

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