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Living with Birds Blackbird Nick Baker's Nesting Favourite Tweetapedia

Nick Baker's Nesting Favourites – No. 5


"There is nothing as simple or perfect as a male blackbird in his finest: all plumptious and velveteen with a banana yellow eye-ring and bill. For me, however, it’s his song. Those rich, chocolatey tones are the pure definition of spring in the garden. 

He’ll start singing as soon as those first warm days arrive (in some years this can be as early as January). And in these long breeding seasons with an early start they’ll keep on churning them out right up until August.

Blackbird Photo

The female is a veritable baby-making machine, with sometimes up to four broods a year of 4-5 greenish eggs, each mottled with light brown markings (29mm x 21mm). They like to secrete their adobe nest of mud, moss and grass in dense foliage: hedges, honeysuckle and ivy clad walls are all favourites."

Blackbird I1

Nesting Timeline

The males start to get testy, chasing away from their territories other male birds and migrant birds that are still in our gardens. Listen out for sub-song males practising.
The rich, rounded, fluted chocolatey tones of the male ring out in gardens and woodlands everywhere.
They pair up and get busy building as soon as they can. The cup shaped nest is mainly built by the female, male sometimes helps. It’s hidden away in dense foliage, amongst ivy, even in a shed or hanging basket. It is made of coarse grass, moss and mud, the lining is an adobe of mud and grass.
By now most birds will have a nest full of eggs, a clutch of 4-5 green-blue eggs mottled with brown. After 2 weeks these will hatch.
Greens the country over swell with the bouncy, speckled brown and somewhat clumsy fledglings. They continue to be fed by the pair, until the female starts building the second nest, then it’s just the male.
The pair just keep going! building nests, laying eggs and fledging as many young as they can in the season. Usually 2-3 in total.

Nick’s 8 Winter Mammals