T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Phylum: Chordata 
Class: Aves 
Order: Passeriformes 
Family: Muscicapidae 
Genera: Turdus
Species: T merula 
Scientific name: Turdus merula 
Common name: Blackbird 

Turdus merula is an introduced bird from Europe. The adult male is black with a bright orange bill. Adult size is 25 cm in length and weighs about 90 g. The female is dark brown with paler throat and smudgy mottled breast; bill brown and dull orange. The juvenile rusty brown, especially on the head; pale streaks on back and wing coverts; brown barring on underparts; bill dark brown. Immature male (Apr-Jan) has brown wings contrasting with the black body. The blackbird feeds mainly on the ground. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms, berries, and fruits. It hops rather than walks. Its song is a loud clear tuneful warble. Its alarm call is a persistent sharp 'tchink-tchink'. This species breeds during Aug- Jan in woods and gardens, building a neat, mud-lined, cup-shaped nest.

Male (orange bill)

Female blackbird

A nest under construction. Early October.

The base of the nest is lined with damp moss before being covered with straw and other dry materials.

Same nest as above

3-day old chicks with membrane still covering their eyes. The four photos below are of sleeping chicks with one thinking the photographers is its mother returning with food.

One remaining fledgeling perched on edge of the nest waiting for its parents. Chicks are fed by both parents.

A fledgeling bird that has just fallen out of the nest.

Song of the blackbird

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/