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Bird  Blackbirds

Blackbird with a mouthful of worms - Photo  Copyright 2003 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
Get help identifying birds with the superbly illustrated "Top 50 Garden Birds" identification chart - click here


Latin name: Turdus merula

Size: Up to 25cms.

Distribution: Found throughout the UK.

Months seen: All year round

Habitat: Gardens and open countryside.

Food: Worms, insects, fruit and berries.

Special features: The male bird has black plumage, yellow beak, and a narrow yellow ring around the eye. The female has dark brown coloured plumage, and a darker coloured beak. Young male blackbirds also have darker coloured beaks in their first year, and while most of the plumage is black, their wings are brown.

To confuse things, albino and semi-albino blackbirds also occur. Some birds have a few white feathers, while some blackbirds are totally white.

Although most blackbirds remain in the UK all year, every autumn large numbers fly in from Northern Europe to swell the resident population.

Speaker Hear a Blackbird Singing

Click here for the MP3 - 191 KB
Click here for the WAV - 1.03MB

Blackbirds pair up in February, and as soon as the bushes begin greening up with foliage, nest building starts. The nest is made from grass and mud, and can be built in a hedge, bush or tree. Between three and six eggs are laid, which are greeny-blue with light brown speckles.

The eggs hatch within two weeks, and within a further two weeks the baby birds have left the nest. They remain on the ground, close to the nest site, and the parents continue to feed them until they are able to fly. At this time the baby birds are most vulnerable to predators such as domestic cats and foxes.

Track Down More Info

UK Safari Bird Section
White blackbirds
Blackbird Nest

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved