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THE BLACKBIRD

Turdus merula
UK Conservation Status (GREEN)

As the name suggests, male blackbirds are entirely black in colour. Females, however, are actually dark brown. Juveniles look similar to the fully-grown female but have copper streaks.

Males have a bright yellow/orange bill and distinctive yellow eye ring. Females have a duller, yellow-brown beak.

Earthworms are a favourite for blackbirds. They are able to hear movement just beneath the ground’s surface and hunt by cocking their head, listening carefully. They also eat other insects, caterpillars, fallen fruit and berries, foraging on the ground and in the undergrowth.

blackbirds are extremely territorial, once the blackbird has claimed their territory they will hold it through the rest of their lives as it is important to for nesting. However after the final brood, territories begin to break down and they search for food elsewhere, they re-claim their territory in autumn to defend against other Blackbirds before the breeding season begins again

Albinism and leucism is common in Blackbirds, although i have not seen any near the Wild North Devon hide.

The Blackbird sings from a perch and its song is rich, varied and flute-like, but usually finishes in a squeaky phrase. Their calls are loud and varied. The warning call is given with flicking wings and tail, and the alarm call is a loud unmistakable rattle.

You can see more about the Blackbird at the Wild North Devon hide and reserve by following my Wildlife in North Devon and Bird Photography blog

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