The Blackbird or Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) is a European member of the thrush family Turdidae. This mostly resident species is common to the woods and gardens of Europe and Asia south of the Arctic Circle. The only migratory races are those found in the northern parts of this range.
Blackbirds average 23.5 to 29 cm in length. Males are completely black except for their yellow eye-ring and bill. Females and juvenile birds have dark brown plumage, brown beaks and lack the yellow eye-ring. Overall, juvenile birds are a slightly lighter brown than female birds and very young juvenile birds have somewhat speckled chests.
This omnivorous species eats a wide range of insects, earthworms, seeds and berries. They nest in bushes or similar, laying several bluish- green-grey eggs with brown reddish marks in a neat cup-shaped nest.
Black birds are not typically gregarious and do not generally form flocks, although several birds, especially migrants, may be loosely associated in a suitable habitat. Female blackbirds are fiercely territorial in the spring when they compete and fight with each other for a good nesting site. Males are also competitive and will protect their territory by chasing away other males. If a fight between males does occur it is usually short-lived and the intruder is soon chased away.
The male sings its varied and melodious song from trees, rooftops or other elevated perches.
The Blackbird has been introduced to many parts of the world outside its native range, such as Australia and New Zealand where it is considered a pest and has an effect on natural ecosystems.