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.

5 thoughts on “Blackbird Facts

  1. Robert

    I have noticed how fierce blackbirds can be if a cat is around. They seem to dart about on high alert with a high pitched squeak. I have even seen one confront a cat on the lawn by dancing around it on the grass with its feathers raised.

  2. Trish Post author

    I agree with you. I’ve seen it as well. In a way it’s very sad because it means the blackbird is defending it’s young or other blackbirds.

    The cat is bound to win in the end. The cat goes back home, gets fed well, does not have to hunt for food so does not get tired, it can sleep all night and then go hunting again the next day strong and powerful.

    the blackbird on the other hand is wasting a lot of valuable feeding time as it tries to frighten the cat away – if it does not feed well it will be weak. If the cat comes on a night then the blackbird’s strength is weak for the following day.

    Either way the cat wins in the end

  3. Teresa Harris

    We have quite a few come into our garden. They are enjoyable and very interesting to watch we feed them lots to help their survival. We have one little blackbird that has returned the next year he has a special marking and he doesn’t mind getting quite close to you in the garden (cheeky chappy) I love to watch them and their funny ways. X

  4. Teresa Harris

    I also have 3 cats but they don’t seem to bother the birds. Also when I put dry cat food out the blackbirds love it also. I think this is highly amusing to watch as they eat cat food and my cats watch and aren’t even bothered.

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