There is nothing more serene than the singing of a blackbird (Turdus merula) when it breeds. In the late 1850s and 1860s, the Blackbird was introduced to Australia for the first time in Melbourne, and by 1878-1882, it had established itself around Adelaide. Sydney’s releases in 1872 failed, and present populations there probably resulted from stocks released in 1940. In 1919, they were breeding in Tasmania, and by 1926, they were breeding in Albury, NSW.
Over the last few decades, they have spread over almost the entire southeastern part of Australia, penetrating dense mountain forests, wooded rivers, and irrigated orchards. Canberra was reached in 1949, Kangaroo Island in 1947, the central Murray Murrumbidgee orchards in the mid-late 1960s, and Broken Hill, Cobar, and Armidale in the mid-1970s.
In spite of the fact that it is still expanding northward, physiological limitations may slow its further expansion northward. In the southeastern mountains, local populations are already showing signs of differentiation from their parental stocks.
Blackbird Male and female
Blackbird Male and female


Insects and fruit are the main sources of food for blackbirds among damp litter. Their wings and tails are flicked up and down as they hop along, scatter litter, and scatter litter. While females build nests and incubate eggs without assistance, males feed the young from high perches early in the breeding season.

Alternative names:

It is also known as European Blackbird and Merle.


The blackbird measures about 250-260 mm in length.


MALE – Entirely dull black. Eye brown with an orange-yellow eye ring; bill orange-yellow; feet brown-black. FEMALE: Upper parts and wings dark grey-brown; tail dusky. The throat is grey-white, streaked dusky; the rest of the underparts are mid-grey-brown, mottled darker over the breast and belly. Bill is dull yellowish brown. IMMATURE: As a female, but with paler underparts and a more russet-toned; crown and back with pale shaft streaks.

Call & Song

Blackbird call is a thin, high tsiii in contact; a jaunty songster, harsh, erratically repeated clucks in agitation, with wings and tail flickering; screeching alarm chatter in flight.
Nonetheless, the song is loud, sustained melodious fluting and trills, sung by males in late afternoon and early morning, as they flew from vantage points.

Nesting & breeding

Nesting and breeding occur in September-January. Nest a cup of dried grasses and other plant matter, bound together with mud and lined with fine grasses; placed in any thick clump of shrubbery or low dense tree.

Eggs & Incubation

The bird lays three to five eggs, usually four; green-blue, lightly freckled with red-brown and gray markings; oval, about 30 x 22 mm. The female incubates for 13-14 days. It takes about two weeks for the young to fledged.


In terms of distribution, blackbird is found from the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia all the way to the Flinders Ranges in New South Wales and throughout southeast to central-eastern New South Wales. Also found in Lord Howe Norfolk Islands, and New Zealand. Introduced from Europe, and also occurs in North Africa and southern Asia to China.


So far, there are about 16 races; but only one found in Australia, introduced from northwestern Europe.
Read More – How do Shrikes Get Their Name
There is nothing more serene than the singing of a blackbird (Turdus merula) when it breeds.
There is nothing more serene than the singing of a blackbird (Turdus merula) when it breeds. Source


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