It's that time of year -- there's a chill in the air, the holidays are near, and birds are packing their bags for warmer climes. Here, starlings, in a murmuration of a million birds, form a mushroom cloud shape as they drop to roost on Avalon Marshes, U.K.
Waxwings gather on a rowan tree in London. Birdwatchers across the U.K. travel hundreds of miles to catch a glimpse of the rare birds, who turn up in significant numbers every few years and are thought to be harbingers of a harsh winter. They're largely from Scandinavia and are typically only seen as far south as Britain when berry crops in their native land are poor.
Think your holiday roadways and airports are going to be crowded? Try traveling like this. Thousands of migratory birds, including snow geese, sandhill cranes and ducks make New Mexico's Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge their fall and winter home.
A large flock of sandhill cranes flies past snow-covered mountains in the fall in Denali National Park, Alaska.
Snow geese come in for landing at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, in northwest Missouri. It's a great place for birds, as the refuge has 3,400 acres of wetland habitat that, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, can become so full of migrating waterfowl that you can hardly see the water.
Two painted storks perform a balancing act common among young birds, on a tree top on the outskirts of Ahmedabad in the Indian state of Gujarat. Lying as it does on important flyways for millions of birds migrating south in winter, the wetlands of Gujarat are a paradise for birdwatchers. The painted stork, a near-threatened species, uses the wetlands as its feeding and breeding grounds.
Migrating common cranes fly to their night roost at sunset near the village of Linum, outside of Berlin, Germany. The area is a popular autumn stop for tens of thousands of cranes making their way from Northern Europe to Spain and North Africa.