Common Blackbird - Turdus merula

Common Blackbird (Introduced)

Turdus merula

Origin: Europe
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.

Common Blackbird - Turdus merula
Photo: Blaxland, Blue Mountains NSW

Some Birdwatching Resources


Field Guide to Australian Birds, by Michael Morcombe NEW: Field Guide to Australian Birds, by Michael Morcombe. This one has colour drawings of the eggs and the nests which not many other field guides do (I can't think of any that do). It's an excellent field guide and one of the four main ones (the other three being above this one). The weakness of this field guide is that some of the pictures of the birds aren't as good (or accurate) as the other three most used field guides. It's also the heaviest though there is a pocket edition which is much smaller and lighter.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)


Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Peter Slater, Pat Slater and Raoul Slater. This is a smaller field guide, and its advantage is it is easy to carry around. Its size is 21.3 x 11.4 x 2.8 centimetres, or 8.4 x 4.5 x 1.1 inches in the old scale. So it is a good one to get if you want to have your field guide with you out in the field. Unlike most of the field guides it also has illustrations of the eggs of all the birds that breed in Australia. It has very good reviews on Amazon.

Click here to Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Click here to purchase from Australia (The Nile) $28.45 AUD (May be unavailable)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond) May be expensive.

Click here to purchase from Amazon

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Common Blackbird - Turdus merula

Australian Birds

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