Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blackbird, Turdus mirula

Turdus mirula
This spring I have heard and seen blackbirds in the garden for the first time. Their semi look a like cousins the starlings, who have a somewhat greasy sheen to their feathers, appear in large numbers at dusk, settle on the lawn for feeding before retiring with much wheezy chatter to a large dense conifer to roost for the night. The blackbirds however are much more charming and discreet.  I know they were introduced into Australia in the 1850's, firstly in Melbourne and then later in Sydney, but they are not very common here.The male bird I see looks very happy with himself and is almost rotund in shape, so is obviously finding lots to eat. I do remember them from the days when I lived in Melbourne and how they were cursed for digging up freshly planted seedlings or for throwing mulch over newly swept paths in their search for earthworms. Apparently they have a liking for soft fruits as well which makes them cursed even more. I can forgive them all these bad habits as they have the sweetest song both at dawn and in the early twilight. Whether a pair sets up home here remains to be seen but I wouldn't mind if they do.

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