Belongs to: thrushes and chats

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, and among our best songsters

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


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

Sings at dawn and throughout the day ; flies off with a scolding chatter when disturbed 


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

© David Harrison

© David Harrison