Common Blackbird

Turdus merula

Common Blackbird. Photo: John Spiers

Common Blackbirds are among the most successful of the various bird species introduced from Europe by acclimatisation societies in the 19th century. Birds released from Melbourne and Adelaide have spread over most of south-eastern Australia including Tasmania. While gardeners tend to dislike blackbirds because of the ‘mess’ resulting from their ground foraging habits, their beautiful songs have added much to our aural landscape.

Common Blackbirds are ground foragers and favour a wide variety of natural and human generated landscapes where leaf litter is abundant and dense shrubs are available for nesting e.g.  gardens, parks, orchards, pastures, stream and river courses.

Breeding occurs in the spring and early summer from September to January. The nest is a cup-like structure of grasses and other plant material placed within thick shrubbery.


Males are entirely dull black. The eye rings and beak are yellow, particularly bright and prominent in the breeding season. Females are grey-brown with a darker tail and a dusky grey-white streaked throat. Immatures are like the female but paler below.

Where to find it

Common Blackbirds are found in suitable habitats throughout the southern and eastern parts of the state, and are a common garden bird throughout urban areas.