Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Scientific classification
Binomial name
Turdus merula

The Blackbird or Common Blackbird Turdus merula is a European member of the thrush family Turdidae.

It is common in woods and gardens over all of Europe and much of Asia south of the Arctic Circle. Populations are resident except for northern birds which move south in winter.

Blackbirds are omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, worms and berries. They nest in bushes or similar, laying several (usually 4) bluish- green-grey eggs with brown reddish marks in a neat cup-shaped nest.

They do not form flocks, although several birds may be loosely associated in suitable habitat.

Adult males are all black except for a yellow eyering and bill. The male sings its varied and melodious song from trees, rooftops or other elevated perches.

The female and juvenile have brown plumage and lack the bright yellow bill and eye-ring of the male.

The Blackbird has been introduced to many parts of the world outside its native range. In Australia and New Zealand at least, along with the Black Rat, the Rabbit and the domestic cat, it is one of the most seriously destructive pest species, as the Red Fox is in Australia.

The Blackbird is not related to the North American Red-winged Blackbird, which is an Icterid, family Icteridae.

See also: blackbirding in New Guinea and the US military aircraft SR-71 Blackbird.

Blackbird is a Beatles song written by Paul Mcartney on his farm in Scotland.