Interesting facts about the common thrush

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We found 18 interesting facts about the common thrush

Turdus Merula

This is one of the most common representatives of blackbirds. It is estimated that the global population of these birds may be up to half a billion individuals. It is also very abundant in Poland and since thrush hunting was stopped its population has increased by 59%.

Blackbirds are eaten in some parts of the world, and in ancient Rome special farms were even created for these birds, where they were fattened before being eaten.

1

The blackbird is a bird belonging to the thrush family.

The International Ornithological Committee recognizes 172 species of thrushes, of which the common thrush is one of the most numerous members of this family.

2

Most common in warm regions of Europe.

Small communities of blackbirds are also found in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Blackbirds winter in Iceland (the only country in Europe where blackbirds do not breed), Morocco, the Canary Islands, northern Iran and Kuwait.

These birds were introduced to Australia and New Zealand.

3

Due to the development of urbanization, two populations have formed among blackbirds: forest and urban.

Blackbirds from the forest population prefer moist and dense forests with lush undergrowth, preferring deciduous trees to conifers.

Urban populations thrive in parks, public gardens, cemeteries, garden plots and groups of trees growing in built-up areas.

4

Braids began to appear in cities at the beginning of the 19th century.

At first, they came to cities only for the wintering period, where temperatures and winds were not as severe as in areas inhabited by people. Over time, people began to feed the birds, which accelerated the process of synurbization - the adaptation of animals to the conditions created by man.
5

Northern blackbird populations are migratory, while populations found in Western Europe, Central Europe and the Middle East are sedentary.

The island population living in China also leads a sedentary lifestyle.
6

Blackbirds were introduced to Australia in 1857 and to New Zealand ten years later.

The first specimens arrived in Melbourne, where they were to be kept in cages. However, this did not happen and, probably, some of the birds from the first delivery had already escaped. Since then, the range of these birds has gradually moved north.

On the Australian continent they are considered vermin, destroying agricultural crops.

7

Blackbirds are excellent at detecting dropped eggs.

The common cuckoo has little chance of hatching in a blackbird's nest. According to research conducted in the British Isles, the chance of a cuckoo successfully laying an egg is only 0,005%.

8

Depending on the season, the weight of these birds can vary significantly.

Ornithologists in the UK estimate that the annual weight of blackbirds ranges from 71 to 150 grams. The average weight of an adult male is about 103 grams, and the average weight of females is about 100.
9

Blackbirds are medium-sized birds with a body length of 24 to 27 cm and a wingspan of 34 to 38,5 cm.

Males are slightly larger than females. They also vary in plumage color, so sexual dimorphism is very pronounced.

The male (left) is completely black. The female is more tan and olive brown. The breast is variegated, from brown-gray or yellow-brown to brown-red.
10

Blackbirds are omnivores and obtain food primarily from the ground. In summer, most of their diet consists of meat, which is supplemented with plants in autumn and winter.

Their diet includes a wide range of insects, earthworms, seeds and fruits. From time to time, a blackbird may prey on a small amphibian, lizard, or even a small mammal. They search for earthworms by sight and sometimes by hearing, then they dig the ground with their beaks and bring the prey to the surface. Insects and fruits are most often obtained by feeding on bushes. They also eat apples that fall from trees and even steal exotic fruits left behind by people.
11

Blackbirds are diurnal, determined by the intensity of light.

They begin their activity at dawn and continue until dusk. They spend most of the day on or near the ground.
12

Blackbirds are not territorial and may even sleep in large groups. The situation changes with the start of the breeding season.

When birds mate, they take an active part in defending their territory. Both males and females take part in fights, but females only fight with each other. Fighting involves clawing at each other and pecking at each other while flying. These fights can, in extreme cases, result in the death of birds, especially males.
13

The average lifespan of these birds in the wild is 2 years and 4 months.

In urban areas, life expectancy increases to 3 years and 8 months. The vast majority of birds do not survive the first year (69%), and in the second year the mortality rate decreases (45%).

Birds older than 10 years are common, and the record holder among blackbirds lived for more than 22 years.

14

Cars also pose a major threat to blackbirds.

Most birds die in March, when they occupy the breeding territory and begin to build nests. Then they become more active and often chase each other.

Blackbirds also tend to fly very low over roads, further putting them at risk of collisions with vehicles.

15

Blackbirds are often preyed upon by birds of prey, although they are also preyed upon by mammals.

Among all birds of prey, thrushes are most often hunted by hawks and owls. Eggs and chicks, in turn, most often become victims of jays and magpies, rats and squirrels.

Mammals include cats, foxes and weasels.

16

In some countries, common blackbirds are also hunted by people.

To this day, blackbirds continue to be hunted in France and Australia. A similar practice took place in Poland in the 59th century. Since the cessation (or at least significant reduction) of this practice, the Polish blackbird population has increased by XNUMX%.
17

The global population of blackbirds may range from 162 to 492 million individuals.

It is, of course, impossible to verify the exact number, but by the number of birds nesting in Europe, ornithologists can estimate their numbers.
18

The common blackbird is not an endangered species.

The species is classified as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN.
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