European birds    Bird names   News   Family groups 1-26    Glossary    Plumage    Tips    Thumbnails    Gen. info    Credits    Photos for sale   
NON-PASSERINES     1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10     11     12     13     14 15     16     17     18     19     20     21     22     23     24     25     26     PASSERINES
Common names sorted alphabetically: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   R   S   T   W   Y  

26

Common Blackbird

(Turdus merula)
Alternate name(s): "Eurasian Blackbird"
German name(s): "Amsel"

Size: 24-29 cm; wing span 34-38 cm
Weight: 80-120 g
Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Common Blackbird at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "merula"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Common Blackbird; note the orange bill (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, February 2017]

Lateral view of a male Common Blackbird (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Lateral view of a hunched male Common Blackbird on a rainy day (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Common Blackbird; note the brownish-grey plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, February 2017]

Near-lateral view of a female Common Blackbird (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, September 2017]

Lateral view of a female Common Blackbird
[April 2006]

Lateral view of a female Common Blackbird (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Direct comparison of a female Common Blackbird with a Great Tit (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, February 2017]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of an immature male Common Blackbird; note the still mostly black bill (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, January 2017]

Juvenile male Common Blackbird starting to moult into adult plumage (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, September 2017]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Mar - Aug Eggs: 3 - 5 Incubation period: 12 - 14 days Fledging age: 10 - 19 days

The length of the breeding season depends on geographic latitude and can start in February in southern parts of the range. Two and even three broods can be raised in a particularly successful season.

Nest building: Female Incubation: Female Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

Type: Basket Material: Grass (mud) Height above ground: 0.5 - 2(?) m

Common Blackbird nest on a tree stump, about 0.5 m from the ground (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Eggs

Size: 29 x 21 mm Colour: Turquoise-grey, with small grey-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Four eggs in a Common Blackbird nest (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary/migratory Elementary unit: Pair

Common Blackbirds can be very tame. We have seen pairs nesting in flower boxes right outside the entrance doors of houses, where the female would remain on the nest even while being patted.

Food, Diet

Adults: Insects, worms, fruit Dependents: Like adults Water intake: ?

Common Blackbirds are omnivores, with a wide-ranging diet that includes insects, earthworms and fruit, including berries.

Grape thief caught "red-beaked": Male Common Blackbird picking grapes off a vine in a suburban garden (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Ostrow Mazowiecka, Masovia, Poland, April 2016]

Lateral portrait of a male Common Blackbird with its prey, earth worms for its brood
[Kueser Plateau, Rheinland-Pfalz, August 2014]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

blkbird_dw_20160527.mp3 merula
(Poland)
Territorial song (male) © DW
blkbird_dw_20170403_1.mp3 merula
(Poland)
Territorial song (male) © DW
blkbird_dw_20170403_2.mp3 merula
(Poland)
Dispute © DW
blkbird_20141104.mp3 merula Territorial song (male) © MD
blkbird_20141104_2.mp3 merula Territorial song (male) © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.