The Blackbird

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  • Areal: Europe, Asia, North Africa, Australia and New Zealand
  • In almost all of Europe. Nordic populations migrate to southern Europe or even northern Africa in the winter season
  • Habitat: Forests, agricultural areas, urban areas etc.
  • Food: Omnivorous
  • Size: 23.5-29 cm
  • Weight: 100 g
  • Colors: Black-matte, black-brown
  • Reproduction: Begins at the age of one year. Then lay 4-5 eggs
  • Predators: domestic cats
  • Average age: Longevity in the wild is 3 years
  • Features: The male is black, the beak is yellow and the glasses (ring around the eyes) orange.

The blackbird (Turdus merula) is a singing bird, which is also called the lonely Sturgeon. It is a singing bird widespread in Europe, Asia, North Africa, Australia and New Zealand, but is more widespread on the European continent.

Nordic populations migrate to southern Europe or even northern Africa in the winter season. In the past blackbird was a bird of the forest, but starting with the nineteenth century through the appearance of parks began to live in gardens near man. Migratory populations reach winter in northern Africa and southwestern Asia. The autumn migration of blackbird starts in September, with the birds leaving wintering places in February-March. They care about the diversity of urban micro-habitats, with good nesting and feeding places, with hiding places in front of the weather or predators.

The European nesting population is very large 40,000,000-82,000,000 pairs, and populations in several countries increased in the period 1990-2000. Blackbird is one of the most widespread birds in Europe, with a population of 79 to 160 million copies.

The species was evaluated by IUCN (International Union for Nature Conservation) and included in the low risk category with minimal conservation concern.

Blackbird’s Food

It feeds mainly on food of animal origin, but consumes, depending on the season some fruits and vegetable seeds. It feeds during the day by searching through the layer of leaves, listening to the soil to catch the frames or shading in trees and bushes after berries.

Food availability may be affected by the use of pesticides in agricultural areas and gardens, as well as by the disappearance of tree fences as a result of the intensification of agriculture leading to the loss of suitable nesting places. Farmers and gardeners can help by reducing the use of chemicals to ensure the existence of invertebrates captured by blackbird to feed their chicks. Blackbird eats cherries, grapes and berries of all kinds of ornamental bushes or ornamental trees planted in cities; they can also consume household waste.

Blackbird’s Aspect

It is of medium size, with a long tail, easily recognizable by the uniform matte black feather of the male, the light yellow-orange beak and the yellow ring of the eye. The beak blackens in winter.

The females have the upper part black-brown, brown dotted chest and a whitish neck.

The body length is 23.5-29 cm, wingspan of 34-38 cm and the average weight of 100 g. It has an omnivorous diet, feeding on insects and frames during the nesting season and berries in the autumn season and in winter.

Blackbird’s Behavior

His song is melodious and varied, low-pitched, reminiscent of flute sounds, and can be heard from March to June.

Besides this basic chirp, blackbird also emits other types of sounds, ranging from aggressive ones to alarms, which announces the presence of predators.

Blackbird’s Reproduction

Reproduction begins at one year of age. The males establish a territory in the first year, and the monogamous pairs remain together until one of the partners dies.

Before mating, the male performs a bridal dance, running on the ground while bending his head and opening his beak. The female builds a nest in the shape of a grass cup and leaves in the low vegetation in a covered place. 4-5 eggs are laid from March and are only hatched by the female for 12-14 days. The average size of an egg is 29 × 21 mm.

Both parents feed the chickens that develop the feather at 11-18 days after hatching. The chicks become independent 3 weeks later. Pairs can grow 2-3 generations per season.

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