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

Birds of Australia: A Photographic Guide, by Iain Campbell, Sam Woods, Nick Leseberg, Geoff Jones (Photographer) - Common Blackbird - Turdus merula NEW: Birds of Australia: A Photographic Guide, by Iain Campbell, Sam Woods, Nick Leseberg, Geoff Jones (Photographer).

I bought this field guide recently (June 2020). As the name suggests, it's got photographs rather than line drawings. They are very high quality, clear photos. I've got so many field guides now, they have to be really good before I buy them (I got it from a physical book shop, so I was able to look through it thoroughly before deciding whether or not to get it).

From the publisher:

Australia is home to a spectacular diversity of birdlife, from parrots and penguins to emus and vibrant passerines. Birds of Australia covers all 714 species of resident birds and regularly occurring migrants and features more than 1,100 stunning color photographs, including many photos of subspecies and plumage variations never before seen in a field guide. Detailed facing-page species accounts describe key identification features such as size, plumage, distribution, behavior, and voice. This one-of-a-kind guide also provides extensive habitat descriptions with a large number of accompanying photos. The text relies on the very latest IOC taxonomy and the distribution maps incorporate the most current mapping data, making this the most up-to-date guide to Australian birds.

  • Covers all 714 species of resident birds and regularly occurring migrants
  • Features more than 1,100 stunning color photos
  • Includes facing-page species accounts, habitat descriptions, and distribution maps
  • The ideal photographic guide for beginners and seasoned birders alike

NOTE: This is the only field guide for Australian birds that I've seen which lists the size of each bird in both centimetres and inches. So if you're much more familiar with inches than centimetres, this would be the best Australian bird field guide to get just for that reason.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Purchase from Amazon.com (USA Site)

Purchase from Amazon.com.au (Australian Site)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

Return to Australian Birds
Return to Site Map

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