An elegant bird with a melodious song, the Common blackbird is rather territorial during the breeding period. These birds live close to humans. Adult males are, as per their name, totally black, with a bright golden-yellow beak and, during spring and summer, a yellow ring around their eyes. Towards summer’s end, the beak starts to turn darker. Females are brown with streaky dark mottling on their paler, reddish-brown breasts. Juveniles look like females but have pale spots on their upper parts.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Zoochory animals are those that can disperse plant seeds in several ways. Seeds can be transported on the outside of vertebrate animals (mostly mam...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Congregatory animals tend to gather in large numbers in specific areas as breeding colonies, for feeding, or for resting.
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
Flocking birds are those that tend to gather to forage or travel collectively. Avian flocks are typically associated with migration. Flocking also ...
Animal migration is the relatively long-distance movement of individual animals, usually on a seasonal basis. It is the most common form of migrati...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Partial migration is when within a migratory species or even within a single population, some individuals migrate while others do not.
Common blackbirds breed in Europe, North Africa, India, and southern China. Populations in the north and east migrate to winter in Egypt and the west and south-east of Asia. Depending on latitude, Common blackbirds may be resident, partially migratory, or fully migratory. These birds live in very varied habitats, including mountainous regions and big city centers, where they inhabit open forests and forest edges, woodlands, cultivated areas, gardens, and parks if the cover is dense enough for hiding.
Common blackbirds are diurnal and eat mainly on the ground, turning the leaf litter to find the invertebrates hidden below. The bird runs for a short distance stops suddenly to turn its head sideways to detect its prey and hops while it digs the ground with its bill to attract worms. It will feed in trees and bushes on the fruits and berries that it prefers. These birds will often take sunbaths, while flattened on grass or warm ground, with their beak open and their head inclined, and wings and tails spread. Common blackbirds are territorial, strongly defending their territory, mostly in urban areas where each pair does not have much space. Females may also fight, in defense of a good nest site. While winter food is available, Common blackbirds will stay within their territory for the year, although they will occupy different areas. Migrating birds are more gregarious, flying in small flocks and eating in loose groups at the wintering grounds.
These birds are omnivores. They mainly eat cultivated fruits like apples, pears, strawberries, cherries, and grapes. They also eat wild berries and fruits, insects, spiders, earthworms, and some seeds, when hunting on the ground.
Common blackbirds are monogamous and pairs usually stay together for life. Courtship displays begin very soon, often in February. Males sing at dawn. An individual will fan its tail and raise it vertically while drawing its head into its shoulders until it looks like a black ball with a yellow beak. The female fluffs up the feathers of her neck and rump in answer to the male’s display. Common blackbirds breed in spring and are able to produce three clutches. Females build a robust nest within vegetation, low down but well hidden, located in the fork of tree branches. Usually, 3 to 4 eggs are laid, greenish and mottled with brown. The female incubates the eggs, sometimes relieved by the male for brief periods, and the chicks hatch in 12 to 14 days and leave the nest when they are 13 to 14 days old. They climb into the vegetation around the nest to hide, where both parents feed them for two or three more weeks.
Common blackbirds are widespread and not considered to be threatened. There have been local decreases, however, especially on farmland, possibly due to agricultural policies encouraging farmers to remove hedgerows (where the bird's nest is), and increase their use of pesticides, and drain damp grassland, which may have reduced the amount of invertebrate food.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total Common blackbird population size is around 162 million to 492 million individuals. In Europe, there are about 40 million to 82 million breeding pairs, equating to 120 million to 246 million individuals. Estimates of national populations include: in China, around 100-100,000 breeding pairs; in Taiwan on migration, fewer than 50 wintering birds and fewer than 50 individuals; and in Korea, fewer than 50 individuals migrating and fewer than 50 wintering birds. Overall, currently, Common blackbirds are classified as Least Concern (LC) and their numbers today remain stable.