ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A short guide to the Common Garden Blackbird

Updated on October 27, 2010

As you step outside into the fresh air you can usually here the fluty call of the Blackbird (Turdus Merula), one of the most common wild birds to be seen in a garden within the UK. It can stand between 24 and 25cm and weigh in at between 80 and 125g. The male bird is easily identified by its solid black plumage and egg yellow bill and eye ring. The female can be a little harder to identify as it has a dark brown plumage with lighter speckles on the underside (very similar to the thrush) The bill of the female bird is yellow. Juveniles are of reddish brown in colour with the paler spotting similar to the adult female. The male juvenile bird can take more than a year to get his full black plumage and orange yellow bill. During their first winter, the juveniles can sometimes be seen feeding amongst redwings.

blackbird feeding

The Blackbird has a fairly straightforward diet of insects and earthworms. Although their main diet is of insects and earthworms, they will occasionally eat tadpoles, newts and small fish. In the autumn cotoneaster berries and windfall fruit such as apples form a strong part of their diet. If a good supply of windfall fruit is found it is not uncommon for the Blackbird to defend his find aggressively. Unlike the Song Thrush the Blackbird will very rarely eat a snail, although there are increased reports of the Blackbird stealing snails from Song Thrush’s that have already cracked the shell open.

As with most wild birds the Blackbird will feed from a ground feeder or garden bird table taking sultanas, raisins and other kitchen scraps as well as the more normal wild bird seed that is available from most supermarkets and pet shops. Having said that it is important that you get the right kind of bird feeding station for your garden if you have made the decision to start feeding wild birds and encouraging them into your garden.

If you are lucky, or unlucky enough, depending on how you look at it, to have a squirrel within your locality it would be advisable to find yourself a squirrel proof bird feeder as these animals are adapt at emptying wild bird feeders quickly and effortlessly leaving none for the wild birds. Once you have chosen the best bird feeding station for your garden you can then stock it with the best wild bird seed you can find, but remember don’t get to big a bag to start with as not all birds like the same wild bird feed. This accomplished you can now sit in the comfort of your own home and watch a variety of wild birds feed as well as your Blackbirds and hopefully maybe one will even nest in your garden! As well as feed it is also important that your birds have fresh water available all the time so they can drink and have a bath.

Blackbirds are very much birds of opportunity when it comes to nesting and will nest pretty much anywhere they can, providing they are high enough of the ground. Although the preferred nesting site would be a nice secure hedge or tree, the Blackbird will very often nest in a back garden using trellis on walls and plant pots. Obviously you can always put a garden bird box up on your house wall or even on a high fence to encourage your local birds to nest.

There are many ways in which you can watch your new-feathered friends, most commonly the binoculars. However, technology has now given us the opportunity to watch birds as they feed by using bird table cameras, these attach to your feeding station to enable you to watch closely as your birds feed, and we can also watch them while they sit on a nest with a bird camera box, which is a simple nesting box with a camera inside so that you can watch the miracle of nature closely.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • nasus loops profile imageAUTHOR

      nasus loops 

      8 years ago from Fenland

      Thanks for your comments D.A.L. I look forward to writing more hubs on our feathered friends.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Great hub.Nice to meet you. Look forward to more.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)