Saturday, 6 December 2014

Day 35 - Beautiful Blackbirds

Hi all today's Day 35 and today is the start of Week 5! And for the occasion I have chosen a garden favourite with a beautiful song. The Blackbird. Below are some pictures and some facts about these bonny birds. Let's get straight on with them:
  • Most people can recognise a Blackbird (the clue is in its name!) even if they say "look that's a black bird" meaning a bird that's black!
Male Blackbird (Turdus merula)
singing from a neighbours shed on a misty morning
  • They are sexually dimorphic meaning male and female look different from each other. The male is jet black with a bright yellow beak and eye-ring while the female is brown often with darker patches and a darker beak. Juveniles are most similar to their mum.
  • They nest in shrubs or trees and it's built from grass, roots or sticks and often glued together with mud mixed with saliva.
  • They lay 2-3 clutches of eggs a year each with 3-5 in them. The mum incubates the eggs while the dad goes out looking for food. When the chicks have hatched both parents feed them.
  • Blackbirds like to forage on the ground or under birdtables. They like insects and Earthworms and will often pick through leaf litter looking for a tasty treat. They also like fruit and berries.
  • They have soft bills which means they can't bite through tough seed and grain. So either buy a specially formulated soft bill mix and offer it on a ground feeder for best chances of seeing Blackbirds or suet pellets which they also like.
  • There are 6 million pairs of breeding Blackbirds in the UK alone highest densities are around urban parks and residential areas.
  • In Europe it is estimated there are between 38 and 55 million breeding pairs. The only European country that doesn't have them is Iceland. Although they do get the odd visitor in Winter.
  • A Blackbird is very adaptable to surroundings and is equally at home in towns, parks, gardens and woodlands.
    Female Blackbird taking a morning drink
  • The song of the Blackbird is one of the most well loved bird songs and can be heard from the end of January throughout the Spring and Summer until about mid-July. It is believed that the first birds to sing are males that were hatched the year before. Other Blackbirds don't start singing until well into March.
  • Blackbirds like to sing after rain.
  • The oldest recorded Blackbird is about 20 years old.
  • One of the most heard bird noises is the distress call that a Blackbird makes. This is often described as 'a nervous poop call'.
  • It is not uncommon to find leucistic Blackbirds which are basically the complete opposite to a Blackbird as they are completely white!
  • When a bird is leucistic it has a rare genetic mutation that prevents colour from reaching its feathers but does still have an orange beak and eye ring. It is different to albinism where there is no colour pigment at all. Me and my mum saw one of these birds but when we went back with our camera it had gone. They have a lower life expectancy because they find it hard to hide from predators. This is not true, though, in the Arctic (lol).
Here are some links to some more information if you need it after that lot:

Hope you enjoyed,


No comments:

Post a Comment