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Blackbirds

blackbird

Blackbirds

A blackbird is around 25cm long and is distinguished by their yellow beak. Male blackbirds have black feathers while the females have brown plumage. The blackbird is a member of the thrush family. They eat fruit, insects and berries. Blackbirds are known as the most common bird and can be found in gardens, parks and even forests.

A male blackbird is easily spotted; most people recognise the black plumage and colourful yellow beak. What most people don’t know is that the blackbird is a very charismatic little thing. They are fast learners; they will learn where the food is coming from if you feed them regularly. Some people even say they’ve heard a rap on the window and look over to see a blackbird on the other side, begging for some food.

Description

It is easy to distinguish a blackbird from any other bird. He is set apart by his bright yellow/orange beak and jet black feathers. The female has brown plumage with darker feathers on the breast. The female also has a darker coloured beak. Despite the name blackbird, the female is almost completely brown and most people do not recognise them as blackbirds. Young blackbirds are closer in colouring to the female. They have stronger mottling on the breast.

Nesting

Blackbirds will build their nest from grass, sticks and even roots. This is all bound together by mud. You will most likely see a blackbird nest in shrubs or in trees. Females will have 3 to 5 eggs at a time, and they often repeat this twice or even three times. The blackbird will breed in March. The eggs are a bluish-green colour and are speckled with red spots. The female will keep her eggs warm and guard them for about 13 days until they hatch. Then parents will feed their new-borns and fledge after 10-20 days.

Feeding

A blackbird foraging for food on the ground is a common sight in most people’s back gardens. They will feed on most insects and worms, and can be seen looking under leaves to search for any little treats that may be underneath. From late summer to early winter they are known to start eating more fruits and berries. The blackbird has a soft bill, so avoid feeding them tough seeds and grain. It’s best to feed them a mix designed for soft billed birds. It is also advisable to place these treats in a ground feeder; they are more used to eating off the ground then on a bird table! Live foods and suet pellets are always a favourite of blackbirds and they’ll soon learn to come back for more if you offer these little treats.

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