The black bird, in my opinion, is one of the most loveliest birds that visit the garden. Their song is so uplifting and can be heard well into the evening.
I have been a fan of these birds since I was very young and my grandmother had one that would come onto her kitchen step to get some crumbs to eat. They are a pleasure to watch as they try to find a worm or two when crossing a lawn using their distinctive forward motion gait.
When I am in the garden I can usually hear the leaves on the ground being moved around and wonder what is causing the noise, that is when the black bird makes an appearance.
They don't come too close but will forage nearby so they aren't as daring as a little robin.
Birds are classified as being member of the Kingdom of Animalia, Phylum (a major division that groups some similarities of organisms), Chordata (another major division for animals with backbones) and Class is Aves (this is a sub division where the forearms have turned into wings with flight muscles).
In short birds are warm blooded, have vertebrae, have feathers, no teeth, lay hard shelled eggs, have a lightweight but strong skeleton, a heart that has four chambers and a metabolic rate that is high.
This family includes thrushes, robins and nightingales.
23.5 - 29 cm which is 9.3 - 11.4 inches long
The males and females are very different with their colours.
The males have shiny black feathers where as the females have browny feathers.
Vegetation like grasses and leaves held together with mud.
The Birds lay between 3 and 5 eggs but mostly 4
The colour of the eggs are blue/green and have rusty coloured specks
The eggs hatch after approximately 2 weeks
The young leave their nest after approximately another 2 weeks
Seeds, Berries, worms and insects
Here is a black bird feeding on an apple that has fallen off a tree. In the autumn after I have picked the apples off the tree for me to use, I usually let the apples fall onto the ground so birds can enjoy eating them as the weather gets colder.
Both the male and female black birds are very territorial over their breeding sites and are quite aggressive towards any threats.
If the weather is moderate and the food is abundant then they will stay in that area all the year round. Once paired together they will stay with each other until one or both die.
During the winter months and especially if it is a cold harsh winter, putting out things to feed the black bird like dried mealworms and fat balls will give them a good start in the coming breeding season.
This will help them being in the best condition before having to feed their young.
I feel that if the adults can get a good head start with plenty of food, but still allowing them to forage in the undergrowth and grass themselves, will result in healthy adults making healthy young.
Planting shrubs or trees that have autumn or winter berries is also a good way of feeding the birds in a natural environment.
I always like to plant pyracantha and cotoneaster in my garden and usually a group of them as they also provide shelter for the young after they have fledged but are still being fed by the adults.
In my garden I have a mature laurel hedge which provides a good nesting site even if it is shared with sparrows and robins.
They like thorny bushes such as pyracantha, hawthorn and holly but also like nesting in climbers such as ivy and honeysuckle.
Depending on the weather conditions and the choice of nest site they can have another brood of eggs in the same year.
If the nest is in a safe area the eggs will be laid in the same nest.
The calls of the black bird are lovely to listen to when out and about in gardens, parks and nearby woods. The sounds range from short bursts followed by a trill which can be elongated.
I always know when there is a larger bird or cat in the garden as their alarm calls are very noticeable, sometimes I have to go and see what the commotion is about.
Plant pot saucers or even old tea cup ones can be put around the garden to collect rain water. This will provide water to drink when the weather is dry or cold and a place to wash.
I once had a large plant pot saucer on my garden table and a black bird was having a lovely time splashing about and cleaning its feathers.
Enjoy seeing the black birds in your garden...