|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Its looks like Blackbird Day today so thought I would add one myself, it was taken last May|
Some facts about Blackbirds Breeding Behaviour
The breeding season lasts from early March to late June, during which period blackbirds rear 2-3 broods. In a good year, fourth broods may be attempted. Weather determines the timing of the breeding season.
Warm or cold spells in spring can bring the breeding season forward or delay it by several days. Dry weather in June can shorten the season and even cause starvation of late broods. The nesting season starts up to two weeks earlier in gardens than in woodland.
The nest, built by the female, is low down in any suitable cover. Trees, shrubs and climbers are preferred, but nests can be found inside buildings, occasionally even on the ground.
The nest is a substantial cup of grass, straw, small twigs and other plant material. It is plastered inside with mud and lined with fine grass. It can take two weeks to complete, and sometimes the same nest is used for successive broods.
The normal clutch size is 3-5. Larger clutches are laid in woodland than in gardens. The female incubates alone, and the chicks hatch 13-14 days later. Only the female broods the chicks, but both parents feed them. Chicks in gardens are fed on earthworms when they are available; woodland chicks are fed mainly on caterpillars.
The chicks are ready to fledge at 13-14 days, but if the nest is disturbed, they can leave and survive as early as nine days old. This ability to fledge early is an important anti-predator adaptation. The young birds creep and flutter from the nest, and remain in nearby cover for the following few days.
They are flightless at first, but within a week will have learned to fly. By this time, they begin to experiment with foods, learning by trial and error what is edible. As their skills and confidence grow, they begin to explore their parents' territory and range more widely. The young become independent three weeks after leaving the nest, and leave the natal area shortly after. They are not driven away by the male.
Fledged young are often left in the care of the male, while the female prepares for the next nesting attempt. The last brood of the season is usually divided between the parents, with each adult taking sole care of some of the young.
There are considerable losses at the egg and chick stage, with at best 30-40% of nests producing fledged young. Despite smaller clutch sizes, birds in towns fledge more chicks per nest than birds in the countryside.
Notes from the RSPB Website
nglen, eng55, billynewboy, rousettus, siggi, jaycee, boreocypriensis, anel has marked this note useful
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- [2009-02-27 11:01]
Hi Hilary. Its nice to see you. Yes it must be black bird day. You have a good picture of the male showing the orange coloured eye ring around he brown eye. You have good feather detail and colours. well done TFS.
Have a nice weekend.
- [2009-02-27 11:02]
Very bice capture of this blackbird.Sharpness,details clear eyes and proud pose of bird are wonderful.
Thanks for posting.
The Blackbird is a hard to approach subject whilst in the trees opposed to when he is greedy and feeding on the ground.
That said you have stealthily crept up on this glorious Male and captured him showing his proud chest and wary eye...The focus on this shot was not easy and you have achieved it perfectly.
All the Best and Great to see you again
what a nice shot for male Black Bird. focus, eyes contact, POV great. but also exposure too. thanks for sharing
- [2009-02-27 13:18]
This is a wonderful pose you have captured, lovely BG. Perfect exposure, with sharp detail and well composed.Very good DOF and eye contact as well.
Best regards siggi
- [2009-02-27 13:32]
This Blackbird is high on my list of birds I would like to see in person. A wonderful pose on the branch and a fantastic view of his amazing eye. I love the yellow eye ring. Excellent blacks and good details of his face and plumage. It's nice seeing you again!
Very nice capture of this male Blackbird with good POV and composition, sharp details and good eye contact.
Hi Hilary, a fine capture of this beautiful male blackbird in a fine pose with fine details and sharpness.
TFS and have a nice WE!
- [2009-02-28 5:10]
It's Blackbird day today. Beautiful photo in great sharpness and details. Nice colours and a good composition.
- [2009-02-28 7:50]
Nice to have the blackbird on a tree and from a different point of view as usual. Good sharpness and vivid attitude of the bird. Thanks also for the interesting note.