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Blackbird Turdus merula

As you can guess from the name, the blackbird is black! At least the male is, as you can see on the right picture. The female is kind of brownish as depicted left. The Blackbird is the most common bird in Holland. It is estimated that there are some 2.8 million Blackbirds in my country nowadays! That means that the bird is now more common than the House Sparrow. It can be found in every park (even very small ones in the middle of the bigger cities), garden or forest, though it does not frequent larger meadows. It's a bird that a hundred years ago was considered to be one being very shy and living in woods exclusively, but it succesfully adopted to the hectic life of humans and the conditions these creatures created. It's very fond of insects, but also likes apples in winter when worms and insects are scarce. The blackbirds built their nest just besides the garage door. All people walking in and out and the acivities of the photographer couldn't interfere with their brooding activities...

This bird belongs to the family of Thrushes (Turdiidae). It is very common in our garden and can be seen in Holland all year round. The bird is 10" and weighs 95 grams. It lives in woodlands, parks and gardens mostly. It eats worms, insects, berries, fruit and seeds. Compared to the male, the female is brownish and has a brown beak. Blackbirds start making a nest very early. In some winters as early as february. It sometimes happens that by the end of March you see young blackbirds running around. If it turns out to be to cold after all, the Blackbird simply starts a new nest. Having chicks very early has a few strong points. The other birds have no chicks yet, which means they don't steal away all yours and birds eating the eggs and young of other birds don't have to feed their chicks yet. Just like most Thrushes the Blackbird produces four or five eggs. It sits on them for two weeks. It takes the chicks only 13 days to be able to leave the nest.

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