In detail

The blackbird - profile


Characteristics

Surname: Blackbird
Other names: Blackwing
Latin name: Turdus merula
class: Birds
size: 15-30cm
mass: 60 - 140g
Older: 2 - 6 years
Appearance: black (male), dark brown (female)
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Omnivore (omnivor)
food: Berries, snails, spiders, worms
distribution: Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia
original origin: probably Europe
Sleep-wake rhythm: twilight active
habitat: Forest, meadow
natural enemies: Birds of prey
sexual maturity: with the second year of life
mating season: January - March
breeding season: 10 - 20 days
clutch size: 2 - 5 eggs
social behavior: Swarm animal
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the blackbird

  • The blackbird belongs to the genus of thrushes and is considered one of the best known songbird species in Europe.
  • Blackbirds are found not only in Europe, but also in Asia and North Africa and through naturalization in Australia, New Zealand and some islands in the Atlantic and Pacific. Depending on the climatic conditions of their homeland, blackbirds are both migratory and non-migratory.
  • They inhabit different habitats such as deciduous forests, parks, heaths, meadows, industrial areas and gardens. Since they are mainly on the ground while foraging, they prefer landscapes that provide sufficient hiding places in the thicket.
  • While blackbirds were extremely shy birds a few centuries ago and lived mainly in forests, today they increasingly live and breed close to houses. They are also widely used in parks of major cities.
  • Blackbirds are among the most popular garden birds because of the unique song of the males.
  • As undemanding omnivores, blackbirds feed on both carnal and herbal foods. In addition to earthworms, they eat insects of various sizes, snails, beetles, spiders, millipedes and other invertebrates. Rarely do blackbirds catch small amphibians, snakes, chicks of other bird species or lizards. Outside the breeding season blackbirds feed mainly on different ripe berries with high sugar content. In winter, they mainly use ivy and birdseed as food sources.
  • Blackbirds are known for their unique foraging. In doing so, they observe a certain spot in the ground with their head tilted and motionless, in order to catch their prey with lightning-fast picking motions of the beak.
  • Already in spring, melodies and stanzas are sung in woods and gardens by the males, who sit on exposed spots on trees or house roofs and defend their territory with these loud sounds, especially at dawn.
  • Within the mating and breeding season, males and females with conspecifics often fiercely fierce fighting for the area, which can sometimes be fatal.
  • Blackbirds reach a body length of up to thirty centimeters, with the male birds being slightly larger than the female ones. While the males have a deep black plumage as well as a bright yellow or orange beak and ring around the eyes, the females appear brown to gray with a reddish brown speckled breast and an unremarkable brown beak. The young birds have light brown strokes on the head, back and wings to be well camouflaged on the ground.
  • The mating takes place in spring, the breeding season often begins in February or March. Blackbirds are predominantly monogamous birds that live in pairs and often stay together for several years.
  • A brood usually consists of four or five chicks, which are fledged after only one month, but are fed by their parents for some time after leaving the nest.