21 Facts about Blackbirds

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21 Facts about Blackbirds

  • Hi there

    Some interesting facts about Blackbirds
    source: http://www.jacobijayne.co.uk/21-facts/

    1. The blackbird is the most numerous breeding bird in the British Isles, with a population of around 6 million pairs.

    2. The highest breeding densities are to be found in small urban parks and residential areas.

    3. The European population has been estimated at between 38 and 55 million pairs.

    4. The only European country with no breeding blackbirds is Iceland; small numbers do occur there in the winter.

    5. The reason for its success is its adaptability, for it is equally at home in a town park or suburban garden as it is in a remote Welsh wood.

    6. Blackbirds are what is known as sexually dimorphic, which means that the plumage of the female is completely different from that of the male.

    7. The song of the blackbird is arguably the most beautiful and best-loved of any British bird, as well as being the most familiar.

    8. The first blackbird song of the year can usually be heard at the end of January or early February, though urban birds often start earlier.

    9. Studies have shown that the first birds to sing are cocks that were hatched the year before. The older birds do not start singing until well into March.

    10. Blackbirds typically like to sing after rain.

    11. The song period continues well into the summer, but it is unusual to hear sustained song much after the middle of July.

    12. The song Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye, four-and-twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie was actually a coded message used to recruit crew members for the notorious 18th-century pirate Blackbeard.

    13. The majority of English blackbirds seldom move any distance from where they were hatched.

    14. British birds are joined in winter by large numbers of migrants from Europe, mainly Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Russia and Germany.

    15. The most common causes of death for ringed blackbirds are cats and cars.

    16. It takes a pair of blackbirds between 11 and 14 days to make a nest. Most of the work is done by the female.

    17. It is only the female that incubates the eggs, but the male helps feed his offspring.

    18. Scottish blackbirds are usually two weeks behind their English counterparts when it comes to nest building and egg laying.

    19. Blackbirds have been successfully introduced to south-eastern Australia and New Zealand.

    20. Attempts to establish blackbirds in New York and Oregon in the 19th-century both failed.

    21. The oldest ringed blackbird recovered was over 20 years old.

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

  • Hi Blackbird,

    Thanks for sharing that information. Very interesting. Perhaps we could add some interesting facts we have learnt just by watching them in our gardens, such as behaviour and feeding habits.

  • Hi Sparrow

    You can add any more facts...feeding or otherwise for the list and extend it anytime you wish {smile}

    The same applies with the other similar 'bird'  postings I added on the RSPB

    I have other birds but a few at a time a the moment

    Regards

    Kathy and Dave

    Sparrow

    Hi Blackbird,

    Thanks for sharing that information. Very interesting. Perhaps we could add some interesting facts we have learnt just by watching them in our gardens, such as behaviour and feeding habits.

  • Hi Blackbird.

    What a great list of facts.  Thanks for posting them.  I'm not sure if I could add anything to that list.


    Paul.

  • Blackbirds in rock, two notable mentions;

    The Beatles song Blackbird which appears on their 'White album'. One of Macca' s finest and most beautiful moments. The song was about the black civil rights movement in America, though it does include a recording of a blackbird singing.

    The Kate Bush album Aerial has interesting cover art. At fist glance, a mountain range reflected in a sea of honey. Look closer, it is the sound graphic of a blackbird recording. The second disc on the album 'sky of honey' starts and ends with a blackbird singing. The accompanying booklet features many bird related images, including that of a male blackbird singing his little heart out. 

  • Hi Blackbird.

    A great list of facts.  Thanks for posting them.

    Regards Buzzard

  • We all know how blackbirds are bullies, chasing off thrushes and other blackbirds, but is it normal for them to fight  to the death?

    I have 2 males who patrol my garden all day. They also sit in neighbour's trees waiting for the other to dare to land. Twice this week I have seen them fight hammer and tongue, beak and claws. They were literally trying to kill each other. It was quite disturbing to watch, and I now have one with a badly trailing wing. He can still fly though. I've never seen this before, and wondered if it is normal.

  • I haven't seen blackbirds fighting to such an extent. They just seem to chase each other away. You seem to have a severe territorial issue in your garden. I saw two woodpigeon fighting in the same manner yesterday but I went out and clapped my hands and ended the fight. One stayed and one flew away.

  • {smile}

    I was looking out in my garden watching for the big garden bird watch last Sunday when I saw a blackbird on a peanut feeder.

    This is the first time I have ever seen a blackbird not feeding on the ground.

    The feeder was in a Coeanthus 'tree' and it was a male .

    Just wondered if anyone else has ever seen that behaviour.

     

    been watching 12 years in this garden, in rural village outside Dartford

  •  No, never seen a blckbird on a feeder. It must have been really hungry. Blackbirds eat tadpoles. At least the one in my garden does! He moves around the edge of the pond, waits for a sec, then pecks a wriggler out of the water. Then he moves and starts fishing again. The heron was bad enough, taking all the frogs, but a beautiful blackbird at my tadpoles! Too much!!!!!

  • Hi Linda,

    I suppose tadpoles are a bit like worms to a blackbird!

    Both my male and female blackbirds are now using my fence mounted trays, which only contain seed mixes and sunflower hearts, but this seems to be when their raisins have all gone from the front lawn and ground feeder.

  • Great list of facts about the Blackbird, Blackbird!

    Maybe we could start a thread of 'Bird Facts' with different birds?

    Shirley: Last summer I had both a male and female Blackbird chomping away at my window feeder regularly. I haven't seen them over the winter and, so far, nothing since Spring sprung.

    /Graham

  • Well, I had to say it!

    This morning, lo and behold, saw the return of one Blackbird happily feeding outside my window. He seemed to be sorting through the seeds looking for his favourite. I couldn't see which......

  • When not eating tadpoles and other wriggly things, our blackbirds feed under the feeders,  picking up what the other birds drop. We seem to have two pairs using the garden, but tempers do flare!

  • GrahamC, you will find that Blackbird has produced many lists on various birds under 'All Creatures' on pages 2 and 3

    Also Buzzard has provided a more in depth detail on http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/forums/p/9736/69374.aspx#69374

    Which you need to keep scrolling down  for all the information.