Common Blackbird

The common blackbird (Turdus merula) is native to Europe, southern Asia and was introduced to Melbourne, Victoria in 1862, and it has now spread across Victoria, southern NSW, Tasmania and southern SA. It is frequently found in gardens, parks, orchards, watercourses and coastal scrubs, feeding on insects, earthworms, molluscs, spiders and a variety of seeds and fruit, mostly on the ground.

The male blackbirds is dull black with a bright orange-yellow bill and a brown eye surrounded by a yellow eye-ring, with black-brown legs. The female is a brown bird with dark brown upperparts and paler grey-brown underparts, with indistinct streaks and mottles. The bill and legs are brown.

The blackbird is easily recognised by its serene mellow song - almost flute-like, but it has a large repertoire of alarm and excited calls. It is a very vocal bird!

Breeding is from September to January. The nest is a robust cup of vegetable matter and bound with mud, in a thick clump of vegetation or a low tree, with three to five eggs. (Contributed by Jo G.)

Blackbirds love scrabbling about in fallen leaf matter for bugs and all creepy-crawlies, and is often considered a nuisance in suburban gardens.

At Urrbrae Wetland, blackbirds are occasionally seen around the eastern inlet area, foraging around the undergrowth.