zigthedog's picture

Juvenile Thrush?

Observed: 3rd November 2012 By: zigthedog

There are two of these birds in the garden both of which are quite aggressive towards each other and aggressive to blackbirds. They are Blackbird size but don't have the intense black plumage. The plumage is a dark flat grey. The breast has feint thrush like markings. The birds have been visiting our garden for several months with no change to their markings. The legs and beak also have the same dull colour as the plumage.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) interacts


ophrys's picture


Mature female Blackbirds often remind people of thrushes, as their breast can look quite spotted. An example of one can be seen here...


However, the background colour to the spots is white in a thrush, whereas it is dark grey or brownish on a Blackbird, and they are blotches rather than spots.

Only male Blackbirds are black, females are dark brown/grey.


My Flickr photos...


Alurophile's picture

Female Blackbirds are Thrushes

Yes! That's exactly why they look so like thrushes, Blackbirds ARE thrushes. Unless it is jet black (once out of juvenile plumage) it is a female. In females, streaking of upper breast is very variable, as is the shade of the plumage.

UK bred Blackbirds are territorial & if these are both trying to hold the same territory, it would explain the aggression. Or it could just be an adult fed-up to the back beak with a lingering offspring.