Belongs to: thrushes

Compare with: starling

Blackbird Turdus merula

Also known as: black thrush


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Familiar dark bird of woodland and garden

Originally confined to woodland, has moved out to breed in gardens, parks, heaths and hedges as well

Widespread and common resident, although numbers are declining

Recognition

All-black male with yellow bill; female is dark brown and slightly mottled, with brown bill; 24–27cm

Perches openly, walks and hops about feeding on worms and insects and, from late summer on, berries as well

Accomplished songster, singing at dawn and throughout the day ; flies off with a scolding chatter when disturbed 

Lifecycle

Nest is a cup in a tree or bush, or on a ledge on a wall or building;

Usually 2, sometimes 3 broods from March to July; 4–5 light blue eggs, spotted red, hatching in 11–17 days

  • Main photo
  • female

Photo © David Harrison

Photo © David Harrison