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If There Was an X-factor for Birds

Updated on October 4, 2015


The yellow beak of the blackbird is  a prominent feature.
The yellow beak of the blackbird is a prominent feature.

Notes from a Lancashire Countryman

If there was an X-factor for birds, the blackbird would surely be a finalist. His melodic fluty notes would melt the heart of even the most critical of judges. His song reverberates around woodland and garden alike. Unlike another contender for the final-the song thrush, the blackbird does not repeat his phrases continuously. He almost composes his song as he goes along, high flute then mellow.

The blackbird has entertained me since early March with his personal songs. I am not naïve enough to believe that he his singing his heart out for my benefit, he his advertising his territory, and at the same time letting his wife who is nesting in the concealed confines of the ivy, that all is well with the world.

The first brood was raised during April and the four speckled youngsters, to the best of my knowledge, survived the perilous transition from fledglings to independent birds facing a whole new life. The male blackbird has his name suggests has a shiny black plumage only broken by a bright yellow bill and yellow eye ring. His wife has a plumage of brown often speckled on the breast by duller brown markings.


Female blackbird.Photograph courtesy of Darkone
Female blackbird.Photograph courtesy of Darkone

Like many other people who spend a great deal of their time in the garden, birds get used to ones presence and often stay close by when one is working in the flower garden, he will have a watchful eye on any tasty morsel that the spade or fork reveal.

I have been putting food out during the day in an old plant saucer, bits of apple, cheese, and broken digestive biscuits, which is placed on the garden table situated close to the back door at the rear of the cottage. My practise is to take the saucer in at night to avoid the unwanted attention of rodents that may or may not be on the prowl.

In the morning my first job is to make a cup of tea, without which I can not function. However, I digress, the reason I am sharing my first diurnal habit with you, is that while carry out this habit I am in close proximity to the window. As soon as the blackbird is aware of my presence he flies down to land on the windowsill and looks through the window. Although I consider my self to be an early riser {usually around 6.30am}, he his conveying to me he has been awake much longer, and he his ready for his breakfast.

After preparing his usual mixture I take out to the garden and place it on the table; by this time he his perched on the back of the chair awaiting my arrival. As I place it on the table the bird is within touching distance not showing an ounce of fear or even wariness. I then retire to the garden bench a couple of yards away to enjoy my first "cuppa" while he takes his fill. This process lasts for around ten minutes, two old friends sharing a little time in the quietness of the early morning. 

Rearing the young

blackbird at nest with young. Photograph courtesy of Nugatto
blackbird at nest with young. Photograph courtesy of Nugatto

In this quiet, I often reflect on one thought or another. Watching the bird eat, made me consider, what man has done to the wildlife he shares this planet with.If this wild bird senses he his in no danger and that I pose no threat to him, he his willing to come so close, even when I am going about my garden activities or domestic chores. Yet as soon as a neighbour appears he his off, away to the safety of lofty boughs concealed in the dense foliage.

All wild animals are wary of man, they fly,run,crawl or keep perfectly still and silent, as soon as he approaches. This is down to one reason only-man has killed, persecuted and hounded animals to death for centuries.Yet the blackbird has proved he is still willing to put his trust in me, because, I believe he wants to. He has enough natural enemies to contend with. If he befriends me where he knows food is readily available he has one less enemy to contend with.


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    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 7 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      B, I hoped you would can not wait to read it.

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 7 years ago


    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 7 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi. again B. always a pleasure to have you. Can you feel another coming on. ?

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 7 years ago

      just came back to re read, i love the picture of the birds in the nest aw.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi Brenda, thank you once more for taking the time to read and for your kind comment.

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 8 years ago

      such beautiful words and pictures, i am enlightened once more by your work, thankyou

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Eileen thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. You are so right birds are fascinating glad you enjoy them so much

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      DAL What a beautiful hub, I love watching the birds here in my yard in Australia. We have crows that pinch the olives of our trees and hide them in our palm trees. Its fascinating what objects they find to hide in there.

      Thanks for sharing this. great pics too.

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Darlene once again your comments overwhelm me. Wish I could find a publisher as keen on my work as you are. Thank you my friend.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      BRAVO what an outstanding hub, this is award material, you are so awesome and a fantastic writer, you must take all your hubs and create a book, yes you must. I love to read everything you have shared with such passion and wonder. Your are a great soul here on Earth, one person can make a difference, I do the same. Your loyal fan and friend....

    • D.A.L. profile image

      Dave 8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Carol your very welcome, thanks for reading.

    • reddog1027 profile image

      reddog1027 8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks again D.A.L. for such a lovely hub to start my day!


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