100,000 starlings outwit two dive-bombing falcons in a stunning murmuration

Stunning video shows more than 100,000 starlings working in unison to outwit two peregrine falcons. The footage shows the birds swooping and twisting during the murmuration which looked like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's horror movie 'The Birds'. The four-minute clip shows the flock of starlings sweeping across the sky as they work together to confuse and intimidate the attacking birds of prey. In one scene hundreds of starlings form a large swarm before rushing the hovering falcon which appears momentarily stunned. A moment later one of the falcons dive-bombed onto a group of birds which had broken away from the larger starling formation. The mesmerising battle of wits was played out in the skies above the quaint Northumberland village of Wall, near Hexham. Architect Matt Charlton, 39, filmed the mid-air phenomenon as he drove his two sons home from school last Friday (3/3) afternoon. The starlings are said to be flocking to Wall for the next two weeks before they fly back to northern Europe for the summer. Dad-of-two Matt, from Great Whittington, Northumberland, said: “I’m not an avid bird watcher but living in the North East I have an interest in nature. “I saw people talking about the flock of starlings in a Facebook group I’m part of called hidden Northumberland and I decided to take my boys to see it after school on Friday. “Wall is only ten minutes down the road from where we live so I thought it would be silly not to go and check it out and we were very lucky to see such a mesmerising display of starlings. “We stayed for an hour and in that time the group of birds kept growing and growing. “It was pretty clear evening, and the bright sky gave a perfect contrast to the birds flying overhead. “The two peregrines kept swooping into the murmuration trying to take down a starling for dinner but they weren’t successful. “It was pretty amazing to see two peregrines as well as they are rare to see. “There was a much more experience bird watcher there on the evening and he told us that the birds form these groups in the sky to protect themselves from hunting birds. “The visuals of the murmuration were crazy enough but the sound of all the wings together was surreal. “It was an extraordinary experience, and my two boys were fixated on the display for an hour, which shows how amazing it must have been as the attention span of young kids is normally very short.”