AndyT's picture

Blackbird - female

Observed: 9th January 2010 By: AndyTAndyT’s reputation in Birds
IMG 4961a
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Blackbird (Turdus merula) interacts


AndyT's picture


Thanks Robert - I think you are right - blackbird not song thrush.

SomersetWanderer's picture


The eye stripe would suggest Fieldfare to me also - not broad enough for Redwing and would rule out Blackbird. Overall patterning would also suggest Fieldfare to me rather than Mistle or Song Thrush but I'm still learning. However I've never seen a Fieldfare visit a bird table although in these weather conditions anything's possible.

bill riley's picture


Could be a Fieldfare from eye stripe, although most Fieldfare I have seen recently have been paler, more speckles and a paler grey head. Would be nice to see the rear underside which wold be white in Fieldfaie.

Wing position with tips held low, is also very Fieldfair.

I am not confident to give positive ID though.


dw5448's picture

No moustache and what was the head colour

Redwing would have more of a pale moustache showing below eye level as well. Looks blackbird like, but the eye stripe wouldn't fit, as has been pointed out. Thought there was a reasonable chance of it being a song thrush, which have seemed tamer and more puffed up in this weather.

For fieldfare, the lack of a clear grey head threw me, but I suppose the position on the table could distort that. Didn't look chunky enough either. Is there an eye ring or is that the eye itself?

What did the bird actually look like as it left the table? Any clues there would really help.

Have realised that it is actually more difficult to identify birds from a single photograh than it is in the field - no jizz, lots of detail you don't normally notice.


RHoman's picture

Change of mind (possibly)

I agree with Dave's comments about now realising the difficulty of using a single picture - I have downloaded the original and made it brighter and now think it could indeed be a Fieldfare. The cover on the bird table has perhaps cut down the amount of light, shading the bird and making it, superficially, darker than it is - hope that makes sense!


Robert Homan

tootsietim's picture

Can't see any reason why it

Can't see any reason why it shouldn't be a female blackbird. Uniform brown back and tail, slight mottling on breast but still dark, and faint markings on face.

bobthebirder's picture


The problem here is that blackbirds are so variable, and bird books only show typical specimens. Also we have a lot of thrushes from Scandinavia in the UK at the moment so may be seeing some unexpected plumages/variations. Fortunately all the other common thrushes are far more constant in their colouring. Fieldfares do vary quite a bit but are always very pale underneath, and always show a pale bill with a dark tip. This is an extremely well-marked female blackbird. Another pointer is the dark legs - all the others have pale legs.

Bob Ford