The flocks of starlings that create choreographed patterns in the skies over Rome have mysteriously lost their aplomb, with hundreds falling to their deaths after colliding with each other. The birds began plummeting from the sky last weekend, leaving a litter of tiny corpses across roads and pavements.  At Porta Pia, one of the gates of Rome, and in other neighborhoods, residents had to tiptoe around fallen birds’ bodies, while mopeds risked skidding on corpses crushed by passing cars. “It was like a Hitchcock

film — there was a lot of blood and the smell became horrible,” Paolo Peroso, head of the Porta Pia residents’ association, said. Millions of starlings migrate south during the winter to Rome, where they enjoy the warmth and the street lights that allow them to keep an eye out for predatory falcons. During the day they venture out of the city, feasting on olives before roosting in Rome’s plane trees and dumping tonnes of oily excrement on the streets, forcing locals to carry umbrellas. READ MORE