(The Daily Blackbird) THE DAILY MEREL     Front Page

PART TWO 

 

 MAY   2006 

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 BLACKBIRD 

The Blackbird or Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) is a European member of the thrush family Turdidae. 

It is common in woods and gardens over all of Europe and much of Asia south of the Arctic Circle. Populations are resident except for northern birds wich move south in winter.

Blackbirds are 23.5 to 29 cm in lenght. The are omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms, seeds and berries. They nest in bushes or similar, laying several (usually 4) bluish-green-grey eggs with brown reddish marks in a neat cup-shaped nest.

They do not form flocks, although several birds, especially migrants, may loosely associated in a suitable habitat. Female blackbirds are especially fierce in the spring when they compete and fight with each other for a good nesting territory. Male birds are also competitive and will protect their territory by chasing away other males. If a fight between male blackbirds does occur it is usually short and the intruder is soon chased away.

Adult males are all black except for a yellow eye-ring and bill. Adult female birds and juvenile birds have brown plumage and brown beaks and do not have a yellow eye-ring. Overall, juvenille birds are a slightly lighter brown than female birds and very young juvenile birds have somewhat speckled chests.

The male sings its varied and melodious song from trees, rooftops or other elevated perches. 

The blackbird has been introduced to many parts of the world outside its native range. In Australia and New Zealand it is considered a pest and has an effect on natural ecosystems. 

The blackbird is also the national bird of Sweden.

 

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)