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Scientific name: Turdus merula

Status: Resident breeding species

Conservation status (UK): Green

Family: Thrushes

Typical lifespan: 3 years

How to identify

What do Blackbirds look like? 

Males are black and have a orange-yellow beak and yellow rings around their eyes. Females are brown with a brown beak and speckled underparts. Juveniles are dark brown with mottled underparts and a brown beak. 

Blackbirds are usually between 24-25 cm in length, with a wingspan of 34-38 cm. 

What do Blackbirds sound like? 

The Blackbird's song starts with a series of clear, flute-like notes followed by a varied combination of trills, warbles, and whistles. The song is typically delivered from a high perch and can vary in complexity, but it's generally characterised by its pleasant, lyrical quality.


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David Bissett, XC318977. Accessible at

key information 

Breeding, Nesting & Parenting: 

Blackbirds in the UK typically breed from March to July. They build neat, cup-shaped nests out of grass, mud, and twigs, usually in bushes or trees. The female lays 3-5 eggs, which are blue-green with brown spots. The eggs hatch in about 13-14 days. Both parents feed the chicks with fruit, insects, and worms (see photo above).  The chicks fledge (leave the nest) about 12-14 days after hatching. 

What do Blackbirds eat?

Blackbirds forage on the ground for insects and worms, frequently turning over leaves to find food. They also eat berries and fruit when in season. As softbills, blackbirds can't easily handle tough seeds and grains, but they will eat suet and raisins.  

Conservation Threats & Solutions

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