Monday, 16 April 2012

Home Patch (5): Blackbird Profile

This female Blackbird is becoming quite a regular. She appears to have a number of suitors, who make quite a noise when they land in the garden. I presume the female bird is already beginning to prepare a nest: you can see tufts of grass in her beak.

For those who live outside the UK, it is worth pointing out that it is only the male Blackbird who sports black plumage. The female is brown, and sometimes has dark speckles on her chest. What I believe is a little unusual about this female is that she has so much white. The bird is obviously not an albino for she most of her pigment is dark and she does not have pink eyes. I am guessing that she has a measure of leucism, particularly since many of her kind are known to have been affected by this genetic anomaly. You can read about Blackbirds and leucistic tendencies on the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) website here.

I shall record this Blackbird on the BTO Abnormal Plumage Survey here ... and on the subject of recording wildlife, I would like to point out Juliet Wilson's informative post here.

Have you seen anything slightly unusual in your home patch recently? 

One of our male garden Blackbirds - in 'standard' Blackbird plumage


L. D. said...

All of the photos are great but the last one is special.

Mary said...

The male is very handsome. The female reminds me of our robins.

Crafty Green Poet said...

thanks for the link. More lovely photos! our local blackbird seems very reluctant to sing this year, which is most odd. he makes alarm calls but that's mostly all. Two minutes ago he took to his traditional perch and just sat there, without making a sound! Of course the blackbird we've heard singing throughout the last 15 years won't be the same blackbird, but a series of birds, so perhaps this year its a young one not sure it's ready to set up a territory....