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


Sydney Birds and Where to Find Them, Peter Roberts. Sydney Birds and Where to Find Them, Peter Roberts. The 30 top bird-watching localities in and around Sydney. These birding hot spots stretch from Tuggerah Lakes on the Central Coast to Lake Illawarra near Wollongong and from the Blue Mountains in the west to some surprisingly accessible sites tucked away in the heart of the city. Each locality entry lists the key species to look out for including rare and seasonal visitors. It describes how to access the location, and what amenities to expect; maps are featured. There is also a handy list of Sydney birds, each entry providing information on the best spots to find it.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Click here to purchase from Australia (The Nile) $26.51 AUD

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond) Probably more expensive


The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight. This is the other of the two best bird field guides for Australia. It is the one preferred by many serious birdwatchers. However I find the pictures a bit dull looking for my taste — the birds all kind of look the same to me, making it harder to remember them in my mind. The illustrations are meant to be the most anatomically correct, though. The text descriptions are better than in Simpson and Day. If you want the most serious bird field guide get this one otherwise get Simpson and Day.

Purchase 9th ed. from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase 9th ed. from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase 9th ed. from Australia (Dymocks)

Click here to purchase 9th ed. from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to preorder the 9th ed. from Amazon

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Common Blackbird - Turdus merula

Australian Birds

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