This is a article written by Visit Rømø & Tønder.

Black Sun in the Marshlands

Large swarms of starlings migrate over the marsh especially in spring and autumn. The birds gather in the evening before calming down and forming dark clouds in the sky. Hence “black sun”.
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What is Black Sun.

Every autumn and spring, one of nature's wonders happens right in the middle of Tøndermarsken and in the Wadden Sea area. Up to 1.5 million starlings gather in the exact same place to spend the night in the tall grass.

But just before the lights are turned off and the night goes down, the many starlings can be unlucky to meet the hungry birds of prey, and it is precisely this combination that results in what we have come to experience, namely the dance between life and death, when the starlings form beautiful formations to avoid the claws of birds of prey.

This macabre dance is also called the Black Sun when thousands to millions of birds fly in formation.

The reason they fly together in large flocks is that it makes it very difficult for the bird of prey to catch the individual bird.

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Heeyy.. did you know?
When the starling flies in large formations to avoid the birds of prey, a starling can detect movements from 6-8 of the birds flying next to it. It actually in this way that the birds can fly so precisely without hitting each other during the chaotic air show.

Black Sun can be experienced especially on the Wadden Sea coast and in the Marsh near Tønder. Here the birds may have stopped for many years before heading south and again north in the spring.

Some of the best places to experience Black Sun are the area around the border with Germany.

The Black Sun season starts in September and ends around October / November.

In the spring you can again experience Black Sol from March to April.

Black Sun occurs when the birds move, ie. that they either head south in the winter to find food and again in the spring when they head north again.

The best way to experience Black Sun is to take a guided tour.
There are namely Black Sun bus tours where you take a joint tour with a guide, where the guide tells about the birds.

The advantage of going on a guided tour is that you can almost be 100% sure that you will find the birds where they have chosen to sit for the evening you want to leave.

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Black Sun in the Marshlands
Photo: Ulrik Pedersen, Tøndermarsk Initiative.

Experience it in Tøndermarsken

Tøndermarsken is one of the places in Denmark where we experience the greatest activity of Black Sun, here the birds can easily find accommodation and food during the period they are visiting.

Tøndermarsken is a large wetland where there are lots of roof pipes which is a tall reed plant where the birds can sit in safety for birds of prey.

The accommodation areas are constantly being moved

The birds are constantly finding new places to spend the night, this is partly due to birds of prey and that the roof pipes they sit on break and are actually laid down completely when there are too many birds that have used them again and again.

Sort sol Billederne må bruges i forbindles med omtale af Tøndermarsken og/eller Tøndermarsk Initiativet. Credit: Ulrik Pedersen, Tøndermarsk Initiativet.

Do you want to experience Black Sun?

the phenomenon is something to be experienced, even if you do not have the great interest in birds.
You are quickly overwhelmed by how huge it is and how violent the sound can be when you stand less than 50 meters from a flock of 1 million starlings.

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