Blackbird Turdus merula   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Turdidae
BTO Codes: B., BLABI EURING No: 11870
Number in Britain: 4.9 million Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: GREEN
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant/Resident Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: merula recorded in Britain (of 16 subsp. in the world)
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Length: 24 cm Wingspan: 36 cm Weight: M/F: 100 g    
Scientific name from: L.: turdus=a thrush and L.: merula=the blackbird
World Distribution: Europe & w Asia, INTRODUCED: Australia
Habitat: Woodland, scrub, towns
Diet: Mainly insects and earthworms, also fruit, mostly from ground
TitBit: Originally woodland birds, the Blackbird is a partial migrant, with individuals migrating different distances; one colour-ringed Blackbird that breeds in a garden in Norfolk makes it way to an almost identical garden in Devon every winter.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: Scotland   Wales   England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore    BBS Maps
British Population Size:
    Summer: 4.9 million Pairs in 2009
    First Record: Recorded in Anglo-Saxon times
    Latest Survey: Newson, S.E. et al. (2008) Journal of Applied Ecology 45:1330-1338
    Conservation Status: GREEN
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 GREEN     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: merula GREEN
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Villages, Towns
    Also common in: Scrub, Arable Farmland, Pasture Farmland, Deciduous Wood
    And found in: Coniferous Wood
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 38 to 79 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(III), WBD(II*), Bern(III), Bonn(II)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from Garden BirdWatch

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 29 x 21 mm Egg Weight: 7.2 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 1544
Clutch Size: 3 - 4 eggs 3.86 ▒ 0.75 (2 - 7) N = 3254
Incubation: 13- 14 days 12.97 ▒ 1.34 (10.5 - 15.5) N = 3254   by the: Female
Fledging: 14 - 16days 14.64 ▒ 1.54 (12 - 17) N = 3892 as: Altricial, downy
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 22 Apr (22 Mar - 14 Jun)
Number of Broods: 2-3(5)
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.650 ▒ 0.003    (M:0.670 ▒ 0.006; F:0.655 ▒ 0.007)      
Juvenile Survival: 0.564 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 3 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 14 years 2 months 1 days (set in 1951)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries

Biometrics

Ring Size: C
Wing Length Adult: 130.8 ▒ 4.4 Range 124 - 138 mm, N =81803
Juvenile: 129.8 ▒ 3.9 124 - 136 mm, N =53822
Male: 132.9 ▒ 3.9 126 - 139 mm, N =42493
Female: 128.6 ▒ 3.8 123 - 134 mm, N =39130
Weight Adult: 101.8 ▒ 12.09 Range 87.00 - 122.0 g , N =65475
Juvenile: 100.0 ▒ 9.34 86.00 - 116.0 g , N =42885
Male: 102.5 ▒ 12.56 87.00 - 124.0 g , N =33791
Female: 101.1 ▒ 11.54 86.00 - 120.0 g , N =31528
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Common Blackbird
Gaelic: L˛n-dubh Welsh: Mwyalchen
Danish: Solsort Dutch: Merel
Finnish: Mustarastas French: Merle noir
German: Amsel Hungarian: Feketerigˇ
Icelandic: Svart■r÷stur Irish: Lon Dubh
Italian: Merlo Norwegian: Svarttrost
Polish: Kos Portuguese: Merlo-preto
Spanish: Mirlo com˙n Swedish: Koltrast

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Snow, D.W. 1958 A study of blackbirds George Allen Unwin Ltd, London [598.911 SNO]
   Snow, D.W. 1987 The Blackbird Shire Publications, Princes Risborough [Jour: S]
   Hillstead, A.F.C. 1945 The Blackbird Faber & Faber, London [598.911 HIL]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides