Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Blackbird is the common name for about 25 species of birds of the New World family Icteridae, which also includes orioles and bobolinks, and for several unrelated Old World birds of the Thrush family, Turdidae. American blackbirds range from 20 to 28 cm (8 to 11 in) long and have pointed bills and rounded tails. Males are typically black, and some have marking in bright colors. Females may be brown, grayish, or mottled. The red winged blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus male has flashing red shoulder patches, for example, and the female is brown and striped, they are abundantly distributed over the marshes and upland fields of most of North America.

Many blackbirds are gregarious and nest in colonies; two to seven eggs are laid. They feed on insects, seeds, and grain. The common blackbird of the Old World resembles the duller species of American blackbirds but is actually a thrush related to the American robin.

Blackbird are among the most populus of all birds, with some winter flocks numbering in the million. The yellow headed blackbird, the only North American bird with a yellow head and a black body; the red winged blackbird; and the brewer’s blackbird.

The male of the nominate subspecies, which is found throughout most of Europe, is all black except for a yellow eye-ring and bill and has a wide range of vocalisations; the adult female and juvenile have mainly brown plumage. his species breeds in woods and gardens, building a neat, mud-lined, cup-shaped nest. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms, berries, and fruits.

Both sexes are territorial on the breeding grounds, with distinctive threat displays, but are more gregarious during migration and in wintering areas. Pairs will stay in their territory throughout the year where the climate is sufficiently temperate. This common species has given rise to a number of literary and cultural references, frequently related to its melodious song.

Other Birds:

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