rstewartb's picture

Male Blackbird

Observed: 15th April 2013 By: rstewartbrstewartb’s reputation in Birdsrstewartb’s reputation in Birdsrstewartb’s reputation in Birdsrstewartb’s reputation in Birdsrstewartb’s reputation in Birds
Male Blackbird
Description:
Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) interacts

Comments

tjg's picture

What do you look for when

What do you look for when distinguishing the sex of these birds?

Jack

Ray Turner's picture

Black v Brown

The adult male is all black, the female is a brown and sometimes shows faint spotting on the chest (reminding us they are part of the thrush family).

Juvenile birds are similar to the female in colouration but the male gains black tail feathers very early so can be sexed that way.

There is an intermediate stage during the birds first winter/spring where they retains some brown juvenile primary wing feathers so may, at this stage, be aged as well as sexed.

Ray

Ray

Thistle's picture

... and the beak

The beak is a vivid orange in the male but brown/grey in the female.

Ian

Ray Turner's picture

True but ....

The colour of the bill is as much age related as anything, getting more vivid as the bird gets older, this is true of both male and female. An old female can have a very bright bill; one that uses my dad’s garden is as bright as any male. I’m down there next week, I’ll see if I can get a picture or two.

Ray

Ray