Daily Archives: July 22, 2009

Blackbird Facts

 Did you know that to find worms  Blackbirds use

  • sight,
  • sound 
  • feel    

SIGHT

They run and pause along the ground as they cover an area looking for worms.  They then stop to cock their heads and look on the ground for prey.

They cock their heads because their eyes are positioned laterally which gives them excellent peripheral vision.  The blackbird swings its head around to see its prey using one eye to see its food.  

SOUND  / HEARING

Birds have no visible ears, but have ‘audile orifices’ covered with a thin layer of feathers to aid flying.

Blackbirds are unique that both ears are internally ducted to one organ which is between the two ears.  This  lets blackbirds discover which direction sound is coming from and is why blackbirds often tilt their heads.  They tilt their heads to get a better ‘position’ of where the sound is coming from and so where their prey is.

So sometimes when a blackbird pulls a worm from the ground  the blackbird has found the worm by HEARING it.

FEEL

After looking and hearing Blackbirds  often finds a worm’s precise location by probing with its beak .

A blackbirds beak is very sensitive and can sense the tiny movement’ vibrations made by the worm which is under the soil

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Blackbirds feed mostly on the ground and are also skilled at finding worms or insects under leaves. When blackbirds  hop about and toss leaves away they are not searching randomly for food but are using their excellent hearing to find the exact location of a tasty morsal.

So  insects are not found under leaves by chance

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A blackbirds hearing is adapted to hear only noises that are important to them such as other bird  calls, movement of prey they are looking for and movement of predators that are looking for them.

So our common or garden blackbird is a unique bird – as are all our garden birds – but we take them so much for granted

Blackbird in summer

Blackbird in summer

Have you any blackbird facts or other bird facts you’d like to share with us.   Please just let me know if you have.