Tag Archives: blackbird

Sparrows killing blackbird chicks

From Carol,

Hi Trisha,
I actually witnessed a sparrow flying into our bay tree where a female  blackbird has been feeding three chicks in her nest.

She was collecting worms for them early this morning and nothing had occurred.  I then saw the mother blackbird and the father walking around the bottom of the nest apparently with nothing to do.

I went out to the garden, and found a blackbird chick dead on the ground under the bay tree and on further investigation the nest was empty.  All this happened in about 15 minutes.

I am looking at the blackbird parents now in the garden looking very dejected.  There are two sparrow nests also in our garden in quite close proximity to the bay tree.

I hope the blackbirds lay another clutch of eggs and have better luck.

All quite upsetting really.

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Carol, Thank you for sending me this sad story.
I hope the blackbirds have another clutch of eggs as well.

It’s lovely that so many people are concerned about our garden birds – and Carol is one of them.

There is a possibility it could have been a magpie, but I don’t think so in that short space of time.

I have received other details of sparrows attacking  birds.  If you read through the Catergories DO SPARROWS ATTACK OTHER BIRDS and also BIRD EATING BIRD you will be able to read some strange things.

Carol, thank you for sharing this with us.  It reminds us that we know so little about the life of garden birds.

Please let me know if the blackbirds do have another clutch of eggs (even if you have to send me an emai)

Trisha

I am having a problem with my website. If you want to write a comment but find there is a problem then please email me a birdtablenews@googlemail.com

Crows attacking a blackbird

From Tina
I just saw 2 crows attack a blackbird.  This was in a tree where the crows have a nest.
One crow flew off with the blackbird sqawking.  It has upset me and made me angry with the crows, i think its bad seeing a bird eat a bird

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We don’t have any control over this do we?  We just have to accept it happens.

Tina got in touch with me to tell me this because of an article I wrote

 

 

Here is a short video you may like to watch

http://birdtablenews.com/2009/05/will-the-rook-eat-the-blackbird-a-video/

SHORT VIDEO OF A ROBIN TRYING TO PEEL AN APPLE

I have just started feeding the birds and a blackbird has become very friendly towards me.

He loves apples,but I have been leaving the skin on,so now Iv’e seen how difficult it is for them I will peel them in future.

Thanks

 Click the link below to see the video

http://birdtablenews.com/2009/06/robin-trying-to-peel-an-apple/

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Amazing.  I have received the comment above and a few minutes ago my previous short article was about a blackbird attacking a martin and in the process killing 3 martin chicks

I have now got this news about a friendly blackbird!

What a range of feelings blackbirds must have (as everything / everyone does)

I’m so pleased I took the video of the robin trying to eat an apple and amazed that a few years later it is helping another person who likes feeding birds

It’s really good to connect to other people who like birds and bird feeding and to see the high and lows of being connected to our garden birds

Trisha

Starling mimicry – a poem

We often see starlings flying in a
great flock,
swirling in evening sky before plunging earthwards
to their roosts, at this time of year,
when there isn’t much to cheer;
yet when I sat  by the quayside at a
Scarborough dock,
One suddenly flew down, alighting on a nest of lobster pots.

It sat there preening and picking
about, not in the least shy,
completely untroubled  by my
presence and others walking by
looking across the harbour at fishing
boats and yachts.

As if to prove whan an individualistic
character it could be
it proceeded to run through its
reportoire of birdsong mimicry;
great tit, chaffinch, green
woodpecked and curlew,
amusing itself and thoroughly
entertaining the lucky few.

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Have just been given this poem, but don’t know who wrote it.  I think it’s lovely.

Crow eating a blackbird

A while ago I  had a comment from a lady.   She told me that in May last year  she saw  a crow pluck a blackbird off the hedge and eat the blackbird.
Before you read this – don’t let it put you off feeding birds – there is a lot of fun to be had feeding birds
I was telling a friend about the blackbird being eaten by a crow and she told me that in the car park where she works two crows were pecking a live dove to bits. She  rushed out, the crows flew away but the dove was so badly mauled it died.
The crows kept on maurauding round the car park looking for the dove they had lost.
Nature is raw and harsh.
Here in her own words is the lady’s story about the crow taking a blackbird. –

We have a breeding pair of blackbirds in our garden (or did have).

The female was wise and had learnt to flap her wings to balance herself whilst she fed on the feeder that she was not meant to fit on to.

Unfortunately, I have just witnessed a crow, pluck her out of the hedge row, and despite my efforts to scare it to drop her, the crow flew off and promptly devoured her. So yes crows do kill birds…Not so keen on crows at the moment

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No neither am I.
The crow breeds between April and June. I wonder if the crow was finding food for it’s young, or if the crow population is getting bigger.
It is sad that a blackbird dies and a crow survives.  It may be that crows that will multipy and the blackbirds reduce in number.
Here is some information

  • Crows are completely black.
  • They nest in trees and are solitary birds, unlike rooks who nest in colonies. 
  • Crows have  a black beak. Rooks are black with a pale beak. 
  • As well as eating smaller birds crows eat seeds, fruit, insects, eggs, kitchen scraps, small mammals, amphibians, snails – I could go on.

  I  myself was horrified when ages ago I watched a crow eating a blackbird.

I couldn’t describe how bad it was to watch. I did not know if it had found a dead blackbird or if it had caught a live blackbird. I think now it must have caught the blackbird when it was alive.
Crows eating birds must happen a lot. I have seen it happen, a friend has seen it happen and the lady who sent this comment has seen it happen.
Surely it must happen unseen all the time in among the hedge rows and trees.
With a predator like a crow to contend with birds certainly don’t need cats prowling about  after them .
Cats are domesticated and get fed by their owners.  Yet, cats can kill all the time, not just when they are hungry.   I have seen cats killing birds  a number of times – once when we had a stray cat move into our house

I have also had trouble with rooks and crows at the birdtable in my garden

Maybe cats and crows are two of the reasons for the decline in some birds – sparrowhawks may be another.

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The Breeze by Ernie Teal

THE BREEZE
Gently the breeze plays with the blossom of the cherry trees,
spilling the petals and disturbing the bees,
caressing the beeches and rippling the corn,
carrying messages of another dawn.

 

A blackbird awakening fluted his song!
But alas his greeting was not for long!
A sparowhawk up aloft that morn and
keen to feed her newly born,
clutched the chorister from his bower.

 

To the songster had come at this early hour,
a death as swift as that hawk in flight:
more would die ‘ere day turned night.
For nature is ever red in tooth and claw.
He who made all things decreed it so.

 

The feathers of the innocent fluttered down,
covering the earth in a chastening gown.
That gentle breeze played with them
as it passed by
with a whisper, or was it a sigh.
Ernie Teal

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Ernie is on Radio Humberside on a Sunday morning and I heard him read this poem. 

I asked him for a copy of it and he kindly sent it to me.

Ernie knows such a lot about the countryside, about animals, birds and he also has a rich store of memories. 

Thanks Ernie for sending me this.

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I do agree that  it is natural for birds of prey to attack.  I think the problem comes when the number of birds of prey becomes so high that it puts songbirds at risk.  What do you think – if you have time please let me know.

Short Video sent to BBC Springwatch!

I’ve managed to upload this clip to the BBC Programme SpringWatch!! It’s brilliant being able to join in with Spring Watch. 

I know this short video  of mine will be one of millions that SpringWatch receive and I know it is not the best by a long, long way, but it’s my video and as I said, it’s brilliant to be a tiny part of Springwatch.

I’ve seen a rook eating a blackbird so no wonder this blackbird seems a little wary. I love the close up (near the end of this video )of the blackbird’s face showing its yellow eye ring and beak. I’m sure it looks a bit nervous.

Bird eating bird in Hollywood

While on a recent trip to Disney (Hollywood Studios) my 10 year old daughter and I were enjoying watching a sparrow feed its cute baby. However, a blackbird came down, attacked the baby and killed it right in front of us.

I told my daughter to look away, but it was too late. She was in tears and extremely upset for the rest of the evening!

It would just see the young sparrow as an easy meal. We can’t understand this can we? I was once told it is the way of nature. In the wild things feed off other each other.

Thanks for sharing this with us. It is amazing that this happened at Disney (Hollywood Studios). When I saw a bird eating a bird I was in the middle of the countryside with no one about at all.

I suppose as long as there are birds of prey we will always get this, but it is horrible to see.

I also saw a sparrowhawk with it’s talons around a blackbird. Horrible and Amazing. Trisha

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Starling or Blackbird

This morning I mistook a starling for a blackbird.

The bird was high in  a hedge and the yellow beak and black feathers seemed to point to it being a blackbird.

It was singing a strange song for a blackbird thoug, so I took a longer look and I saw the flecks of white on its plumage and saw the beak was not really yellow, just a light colour.

Then I realised it was a starling.  Within minutes other starlings had gathered and were surrounding the ground feeder.

I wonder if other people make this mistake – or am I the only one.

Then later on I was turning a corner near the house when a flash of black scurried round the corner towards me, near the ground.  I think we made each other jump.

This time it was a blackbird with a large piece of apple in its beak.  So at least this morning the starlings haven’t had all the bird food.

Have just looked out of the window and the meshed feeder and the open ground tray are empty of all the cheese and apple I put in them.

Just for once I’ll put some more grated cheese and cut up apple.  What else would I use apple and cheese for?!