Sort sol or Black Sun is a natural phenomenon in the marshlands in southwestern Jutland, Denmark, in particular the marsh near Tønder and Ribe. Very large numbers of migrational starlings gather there in spring and autumn when they move between their winter grounds in southern Europe and their summer breeding grounds in Scandinavia and other countries near the Baltic Sea.
Sort sol takes place in the hours just after sunset. The birds gather in large flocks and form huge formations in the sky just before they decide on a location to roost for the night. The movements of the formations have been likened to a sort of dance or ballet and the birds are so numerous that they seem to obliterate the sunset, hence the term "sort sol". As many as 1 million birds can be involved in the formation but usually flocks break up when the number of individuals exceed about half a million birds due to excessive internal disturbances in the flock.
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