Blackbird Facts

Blackbird Facts
Blackbird is a songbird that belongs to the family of thrushes. It originates from Eurasia. There are 13 subspecies of blackbirds that can be found around the world today. Blackbird inhabits forests, beaches, marshes and mountains. It can be also found in suburban and urban areas, in the parks, gardens, orchards and vineyards. Car accidents and accelerated development of agriculture are the major threats for the survival of blackbirds in the wild. Despite these factors, population of blackbirds is large and stable.
Interesting Blackbird Facts:
Blackbird can reach 9.2 to 11.4 inches in length and 2.8 to 4.4 ounces of weight.
Males and females can be differentiated by the color of the plumage (sexual dimorphism). Males have black body, golden yellow rings around eyes and yellow beaks. Females have brown body and rusty-red breast covered with streaks. Their beaks are dark-colored.
Blackbird is an omnivore (it eats plants and meat). Its diet is based on insects, worms, slugs, seed, fruit and berries. Blackbird occasionally eats small amphibians and lizards.
Blackbird uses its strong beak to pull out insects and caterpillars hidden in the soil. It also searches food below leaf litter and inside the trees.
Northern populations of blackbirds migrate toward the Africa and tropical parts of Asia before the winter. They live in small flocks on the wintering grounds.
Young (one-year-old) males start to sing at the end of January, or at the beginning of February. Older birds usually sing from March to June/July. Blackbirds produce beautiful, melodic, fluty songs.
Some subspecies of blackbirds are able to mimic sounds of cats, humans and other birds. They also produce various alarm calls to alert other members of the group about upcoming danger.
Natural enemies of blackbirds are cats, foxes and large birds of prey (sparrow-hawk).
Mating season of blackbirds starts in March. One pair usually produces 2 broods per season.
Blackbirds are territorial during the mating season. They form monogamous couples (pairs that mate for a lifetime) and protect their territory from intruders.
Blackbirds build cup-shaped nests on the trees or in the shrubs. Males collect twigs, bark, mud and leaves, while females use them to construct the nest. Entire process lasts 11 to 14 days.
Female lays 3 to 5 bluish-green eggs covered with red blotches. Male provides food for female during incubation period that lasts 17 days.
Cuckoo often lays eggs inside blackbirds' nests. Luckily, blackbirds easily recognize different-colored eggs and eliminate them from their nests.
Both parents provide food for their offspring. Young blackbirds are ready to leave the nest 13 days after hatching, but they are not ready for the independent life at least 3 more weeks.
Blackbirds can survive 16 to 20 years in the wild, but they rarely live more than 2.5 years.

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