Key information The males live up to their name but, confusingly, females are brown often with spots and streaks on their breasts. What they eat: Insects, worms and berries. Measurements: Length: cm Wingspan: UK breeding is the number of pairs breeding annually. UK wintering is the number of individuals present from October to March. Feather colour: Black Brown White. Leg colour: Brown. Natural habitats: Woodland Farmland Grassland Urban and suburban. Similar birds:.
Ring ouzel. Where and when to see them. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations. However, in Old English , and in modern English up to about the 18th century, "bird" was used only for smaller or young birds, and larger ones such as crows were called "fowl".
At that time, the blackbird was therefore the only widespread and conspicuous "black bird" in the British Isles. German Amsel. The ouzel usage survived later in poetry, and still occurs as the name of the closely related ring ouzel Turdus torquatus , and in water ouzel, an alternative name for the unrelated but superficially similar white-throated dipper Cinclus cinclus.
Two related Asian Turdus thrushes , the white-collared blackbird T. The icterid family of the New World is sometimes called the blackbird family because of some species' superficial resemblance to the common blackbird and other Old World thrushes, but they are not evolutionarily close, being related to the New World warblers and tanagers.
As would be expected for a widespread passerine bird species, several geographical subspecies are recognised. The treatment of subspecies in this article follows Clement et al. The Asian subspecies, the relatively large intermedius also differs in structure and voice, and may represent a distinct species. In Europe, the common blackbird can be confused with the paler-winged first-winter ring ouzel Turdus torquatus or the superficially similar European starling Sturnus vulgaris. The common blackbird of the nominate subspecies T.
The adult male has glossy black plumage , blackish-brown legs, a yellow eye-ring and an orange-yellow bill.
The bill darkens somewhat in winter. The juvenile is similar to the female, but has pale spots on the upperparts, and the very young juvenile also has a speckled breast. Young birds vary in the shade of brown, with darker birds presumably males.
It has been introduced to Australia and New Zealand. Common over most of its range in woodland, the common blackbird has a preference for deciduous trees with dense undergrowth. However, gardens provide the best breeding habitat with up to 7. This widespread species has occurred as a vagrant in many locations in Eurasia outside its normal range, but records from North America are normally considered to involve escapees, including, for example, the bird in Quebec.
The male common blackbird defends its breeding territory, chasing away other males or utilising a "bow and run" threat display. This consists of a short run, the head first being raised and then bowed with the tail dipped simultaneously.
If a fight between male blackbirds does occur, it is usually short and the intruder is soon chased away. The female blackbird is also aggressive in the spring when it competes with other females for a good nesting territory, and although fights are less frequent, they tend to be more violent.
The bill's appearance is important in the interactions of the common blackbird. The territory-holding male responds more aggressively towards models with orange bills than to those with yellow bills, and reacts least to the brown bill colour typical of the first-year male.
The female is, however, relatively indifferent to bill colour, but responds instead to shinier bills. As long as winter food is available, both the male and female will remain in the territory throughout the year, although occupying different areas. Migrants are more gregarious, travelling in small flocks and feeding in loose groups in the wintering grounds.
The flight of migrating birds comprises bursts of rapid wing beats interspersed with level or diving movement, and differs from both the normal fast agile flight of this species and the more dipping action of larger thrushes.
The male common blackbird attracts the female with a courtship display which consists of oblique runs combined with head-bowing movements, an open beak, and a "strangled" low song.
The female remains motionless until she raises her head and tail to permit copulation. Nominate T. The cup-shaped nest is made with grasses, leaves and other vegetation, bound together with mud. It is built by the female alone. She lays three to five usually four bluish-green eggs marked with reddish-brown blotches,  heaviest at the larger end;  the eggs of nominate T.
Fledging takes another 10—19 average If the female starts another nest, the male alone will feed the fledged young. A common blackbird has an average life expectancy of 2.
In its native Northern Hemisphere range, the first-year male common blackbird of the nominate race may start singing as early as late January in fine weather in order to establish a territory, followed in late March by the adult male. The male's song is a varied and melodious low-pitched fluted warble, given from trees, rooftops or other elevated perches mainly in the period from March to June, sometimes into the beginning of July. It has a number of other calls, including an aggressive seee , a pook-pook-pook alarm for terrestrial predators like cats, and various chink and chook, chook vocalisations.
The territorial male invariably gives chink-chink calls in the evening in an usually unsuccessful attempt to deter other blackbirds from roosting in its territory overnight. At least two subspecies, T.
The common blackbird is omnivorous , eating a wide range of insects , earthworms , seeds and berries. It feeds mainly on the ground, running and hopping with a start-stop-start progress. It pulls earthworms from the soil, usually finding them by sight, but sometimes by hearing, and roots through leaf litter for other invertebrates. Small amphibians and lizards are occasionally hunted. This species will also perch in bushes to take berries and collect caterpillars and other active insects.
The nature of the fruit taken depends on what is locally available, and frequently includes exotics in gardens. Near human habitation the main predator of the common blackbird is the domestic cat, with newly fledged young especially vulnerable. The male is the 'black' bird, with deep orange to yellow bill, a narrow yellow eye-ring and dark legs. The female is a brown bird, with some streaks or mottling, and has a dark bill and legs. Immature birds are similar to the female with lighter underparts.
The Common Blackbird is not readily confused with other 'black' birds as it is much smaller than most Australian birds with a similar colouring and has a distinctive yellow eye-ring.
The Common Blackbird, was originally confined to Melbourne and Adelaide, but has gradually expanded its range throughout south-eastern Australia, both on the coast and inland, as far north as Sydney, and including Tasmania and the Bass Strait islands. The Common Blackbird is most often found in urban areas and surrounding localities, but has successfully moved into bushland habitats. It is often seen in orchards, vineyards and gardens, as well as along roadsides and in parks. The Common Blackbird eats insects, earthworms, snails, spiders and a range of seeds and fruit.