Turdus merula

Common blackbird, photo the City of Helsinki materialbank, Jan W. Ahlfors
Common blackbird, photo: Eero Haapanen

The male blackbird is coal-black, with a bright yellow-orange beak, and a ring around the eyes. The female bird is dark brown, with a dark or yellow beak. It moves on the ground by jumping and sometimes stopping to monitor its surroundings and raise its tail. It can also nest on the ground or a low stump. At the end of May, young blackbirds can already be seen flying. Initially, they feed on a number of invertebrates, but later on berries and seeds as well. They are widespread and common in forests, fields, gardens, and parks. Blackbirds stay in hiding and are therefore seen less than other thrushes. Recently, more and more of them have moved into cities: cemeteries, parks, and streets. However, most of them still live in forests and wooded meadows.