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
Tasco Essentials 10x50 Binoculars
I have the 8x40 of this series, which I bought because I saw them on special, and they had a much clearer image than the cheap no-name brand binoculars I had before. I would have got 10x50 instead if they had been on special also. These are great basic binoculars which can be used for birdwatching, stargazing, etc.
The first number (like 8 or 10) refers to the magnification, so bigger numbers mean you can see closer up, but the image will shake around more. The second number (like 40 or 50) is the diameter of the large lenses in millimetres. Bigger numbers mean more light gets in, so the image is clearer and better, at the expense of being larger and heavier to carry around.
With binoculars, once you get above the really cheap models (like $30-50), the image quality is pretty good. You can pay a lot more, like a few hundred dollars, or $1000 or $2000 even — but most of what you get isn't so much raw image quality but other features like durability, being waterproof, better lens coatings, image stabilisation, etc. Cheaper binoculars are more delicate and if not treated gently the two sides can go out of alignment with each other.
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Purchase from Australia (Tentworld)
Purchase from Australia (BCF)
Browse different models of binoculars at [Tentworld] [Wild Earth] [BCF] [Kathmandu] [DWI] [Kogan] [Amazon USA]
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