Turdus merula

The common blackbird Turdus merula is a species of passerine bird in the family Turdidae. The male is completely black, with a yellow beak and a yellow circle around the eyes and has a vast repertoire of songs, while adult females and juveniles have brown plumage, without the yellow on the beak and orbital ring. . This species nests in forests and gardens, with the Cantabrian countryside and the Levantine orange grove hosting the highest density of the species.

The Common blackbird is omnivorous. It feeds on a wide variety of insects, worms, fruits and sometimes seeds.

The Common blackbird jumps and runs in fits and starts. When it is scared it raises and moves its long tail.

The male begins to sing on mild winter days, in order to establish his territory. At the end of winter or early spring, from the top of the trees, the roofs of the houses or any other perch that dominates the surroundings, you can already hear the complete song of the blackbird, a non-repetitive, fluted, melodious and very serious chirping. The truth is that its song is the most musical, even more than that of the nightingale, being unsurpassed in richness of melodies and harmony. The Common blackbird sings with greater vigor on drizzly days. The male can sing at any time of the day, but dawn and dusk are the times when the songs are most intense.

Common blackbirds are very territorial, especially during the breeding season, being aggressive towards other blackbirds that try to enter their space.

Common blackbird female

Although the male helps in the construction of the nest, mainly by providing building materials, the females almost alone build a bowl-shaped nest, with moss, grasses, roots and small twigs, which they edge with mud or of muddy leaves. They place it in low, visible places, as if at random, without any protection in small pine trees, on balconies, between planters or under the roof of a greenhouse.

 The clutch consists of 2 to 6 blue-green eggs, with reddish-brown spots that are more numerous in the thickest part of them. The female is the one who is exclusively in charge of incubation, which lasts 11 to 14 days.

They leave the nest very early, between ten and nineteen days after birth (thirteen and a half days on average with a weight of 70 to 80 g). A week before knowing how to fly, they leave the nest to flutter down and hide nearby. They will continue to be fed by their parents for three weeks after leaving the nest and follow the adults asking for food. If the female begins a second clutch, only the male is responsible for feeding the young. A second brood is quite common, reusing the same nest if the first brood has been crowned with success and in the south of the range of this species it can have up to three generations per year or more.

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