Scientific name: Turdus merula

Family: Turdidae

Appearance: Males are black, with yellow beaks and narrow yellow rings around their eyes. Females are a dark brown, with duller beaks and no eye-ring.

Body length: 23.5-29 cm  Weight: 80-125 g

Weight: 80-125 g

Natural history: Blackbirds are commonly seen feeding on the ground, where they turn over leaf litter with their beak in search of invertebrates. Earthworms are an important part of their diet. Like other birds including gulls, blackbirds lure worms to the surface by tapping their feet to mimic the pattering of rain on soil.

In the breeding season, blackbirds are highly territorial. They will often be seen contesting mates and territories through running displays on the ground and aerial chases.

Introduced blackbird populations in Australia and New Zealand have become widespread pests. Not only do they damage fruit crops, but they also spread invasive weeds such as blackberries, which harm native flora and feed other invasive animals.

 (C) Ian Morton (shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license)

 and (C) Kentish Plumber (shared under a CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license)