Common Blackbird (Introduced)
Other Names: Eurasian Blackbird, English Blackbird
Family: Muscicapidae, Subfamily Turdinae (True Thrushes, 4 species in Australia)
Size: 25 cm
Distribution: All VIC and TAS, most of NSW, small parts of SE SA.
Status: Common to locally common
Habitat: Varied (lots), including suburban gardens
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest
The male is fully black with a yellow-orange beak, eye ring and orange-brown feet. The female is dark grey to brown with similar coloured parts to the male.
They are very shy and will fly away at the slightest provacation. They make noises that sound like a cross between "ping ping ping" and "chip chip chip", often the first birds I hear when I wake up early (like 5-6 am). The male also has a song, which I think sounds a bit like R2-D2 from Star Wars. He will sit at the top of a tall tree or TV antenna and sing for hours in spring.
These are the kind of blackbirds you would bake in a pie, like in the nursery rhyme.
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW
Some Birdwatching Resources
NEW: Field Guide to Australian Birds: Complete Compact Edition, by Michael Morcombe. Based on the above larger book. It's a while since I've seen this one. The publisher's commentary says that "This slimline, compact edition contains the same information on mainland and Tasmanian birds as his best-selling handbook, the Field Guide to Australian Birds. Features include plastic jacket, QuickFind system of colour tags and Quick Index ensure durability and ease of use in the field."
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