Stunning pictures show the astonishing moment a flock of starlings formed the shape of a giant bird over a lake in Ireland.
Photographer James Crombie captured the murmuration over Lough Ennell, Co. Westmeath on Tuesday evening.
Breathtaking footage shows the starlings swooping and diving in unison as they formed the outline of a bird above the water.
Mr Crombie made around 50 trips to Lough Ennell in the hope that he would capture the murmuration.
Photographer James Crombie captured the stunning murmuration of starlings swooping over Lough Ennell on Tuesday evening. The flock formed the outline of a giant bird.
Mr Crombie and friend Colin Hogg had been watching the starlings for weeks as they tried to find the ideal location for shooting the impressive footage. Mr Crombie told the Irish Times that he had already formed an 'image in his head' that he wanted to replicate
He and Colin Hogg, a friend, had tracked the starlings for several weeks in a bid to find the ideal location for shooting the footage.
‘I had an image in my head. I could see they were making shapes. I kept going back to get the image I had in my head’, Mr Crombie told the Irish Times.
Murmuration is a phenomenon that sees hundreds or thousands of starlings fly together in the sky to form coordinated patterns.
A couple captured the moment thousands of starlings formed a giant heart over the sea in Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon in January.
Photographer Ed Sykes, from Halifax, West Yorks, captured a huge murmuration of starlings forming the shape of a giant stocking in Castleford just weeks before Christmas.
Grouping together protects starlings from predators such as falcons who will find it difficult to target one bird in a pack of thousands.
Starlings also gather together to keep warm at night and to communicate.
The starling population in the UK has fallen by more than 80 per cent in recent years meaning they are now on the list of birds most at risk.
Starlings also group together to keep warm at night and to communicate. The starling population in the UK has fallen by 80 per cent in recent years