British wildlife recordings
Turdus merula : Blackbird - Turdidae
The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »
OS Grid Reference(488500,160500)
Williams, Aubrey John
Blackbird, Turdus merula
The song of a male blackbird, recorded on 12 April, 1975. The blackbird surely ranks as one of our most familiar birds and also one of our most vocal, with a beautiful song that can be heard throughout most of the year in our woodlands, parks and gardens. In remote areas, where blackbirds rarely encounter humans they can be shy and retiring, but they are often much more bold and confiding in urban areas. Early morning and evening are usually the best times to hear the male blackbirds at their most lyrical, as they proclaim mates and territories from favoured song posts. Each song is often two to three seconds long with a similar interval before the next burst, and is rich and mellow with a languid delivery and fluted quality. Most birds have a wide repertoire of songs and birds can even develop a 'regional accent' as certain characteristic phrases spread through adjacent territories. Most of our breeding blackbirds are resident with around 4.5 million pairs breeding in Britain. Large winter influxes of migratory blackbirds from the continent can swell the population to between fourteen and twenty million birds. There was concern that numbers had been declining since the 1970's but recent surveys suggest the populations may well have stabilised.