The Blackbird: A Guide To Ireland’s Garden Bird Species

close-up of male blackbird garden bird looking into distance on a tree branch

The Blackbird: A Guide To Ireland’s Garden Bird Species

The blackbird is one of the most common types of bird in Ireland. Known as ‘Lon Dubh’ in Irish, it builds its nest in trees, bushes, but will also nest in large open fronted nest boxes. It is also said to be the most numerous breeding bird in the British Isles, with a population of around 6 million pairs!

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through how to spot a blackbird in your garden and the best way to care for it.

What Does a Blackbird Look Like?

Male blackbirds have all black feathers and an easily identifiable bright yellow bill. The bill tends to during the winter months. Females are browner, with speckles on the upper breast. They also have a darker beak. A young blackbird is similar to the female, but has pale spots on the upperparts. A very young,  juvenile blackbird also has a speckled breast. Young birds differ in the shade of brown, with darker birds presumably males.

Blackbirds are approximately eight to ten inches long, with a long tail and a full body, round head, and long, thick beak.

What Do Blackbirds Like to Eat?

Blackbirds will eat most types of wild bird food from suet to sunflower hearts. Their favourite by far however are insects such as worms, so mealworms are a great treat. They also eat berries, apples, seeds and high energy foods like peanuts and fat. They will happily come to your bird table so make sure to leave out foods like peanuts, mixed seed and fat ball treats.

Female Blackbird
A Female Blackbird perched upon a tree branch

How to Feed Blackbirds

Blackbirds may struggle to get to the food you leave out for them if you are using a hanging feeder. This is because the majority of hanging seed feeder are too small for blackbirds. Coupled with the fact they are unable to cling to the feeder a trait that is exhibited by many smaller birds, it makes it very difficult for them to actually get any food. The best way to feed your blackbirds is from a bird table or straight from the floor, behind bushes or trees to avoid attracting unwanted visitors such as crows.

Where do Blackbirds Nest?

Blackbirds tend to nest in in trees or bushes, particularly in brambles and ivy, but also conifers. They are also willing to use large open-fronted nestboxes. They gather lots of grass, leaves and twigs to make its nest, and uses mud to ensure it stays together. The blackbird breeding season is from March to July.

What Do Blackbirds Sound Like?

Blackbirds are famous singers, singing early in the morning at dawn. Their song is rather slow, mellow and sounds like a flute, with a wide range of notes and the sound carrying far. They can be heard singing from February to April.

Any more questions?

Got any more questions about feeding your garden birds? Be sure to ask one of expert Pet Care Advisors at your local Petmania store today.

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