Thursday, 29 November 2012

Blackbird

As promised, here is the first bird post about one of our commonest british birds, the blackbird.  Although it is often seen in gardens, it's probably because it thinks our gardens are woodlands. 

John Sheppard, Sulgrave Village website
 
 Only the male is black and he has a bright yellow bill and a yellow ring round his eye.  The female is better camouflaged for sitting secretly on the eggs in the nest.  You can see that blackbirds are in the thrush family.
 
from the RSPB website
 
Blackbirds eat worms, grubs and insects and also berries and fallen apples in autumn and winter.  They are successful because they are so adaptable.

The song is very fluty and attractive.  Brett Westwood (see link on right) says their contralto song is at its best on mild spring evenings. 

At sunset on summer evenings, and even now in November,  you can hear several birds with their contact call "pik", repeated at intervals.  I was hearing them in Filnore Woods this week.  The more alarmed they get, the faster the "piks" come.  And when they are really upset there is an accelerating machine gun shriek "pik-pik-pi-pi-pi-pi-pi-PI-PI-pi-pi".


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