The common blackbird (Turdus merula) is a species of true thrush. It is also called Eurasian blackbird (especially in North America, to distinguish it from the unrelated New World blackbirds), or simply blackbird where this does not lead to confusion with a similar-looking local species. It breeds in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to Canada, United States, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, the Falkland Islands, Chile, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
The male of the nominate subspecies, which is found throughout most of Europe, is all black except for a yellow eye-ring and bill and has a rich, melodious song; the adult female and juvenile have mainly dark brown plumage. This species breeds in woods and gardens, building a neat, mud-lined, cup-shaped nest. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms, berries, and fruits.
Both sexes are territorial on the breeding grounds, with distinctive threat displays, but are more gregarious during migration and in wintering areas. Pairs stay in their territory throughout the year where the climate is sufficiently temperate. This common and conspicuous species has given rise to a number of literary and cultural references, frequently related to its song.
We have blackbirds in our garden and this is the fifth year that they are nesting here and raising young. They are partial to building their nest in tall rosemary bushes, which affords them protection from predators and the elements.
This post is part of the Saturday Critters meme,
and also part of the Camera Critters meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme.