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Blackbird: bye, bye blackbird

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Blackbird: bye, bye blackbird

What does bird migration mean to you? Swallows on the telephone wires in autumn before they fly off south or maybe hearing a cuckoo in spring? Possibly you think of skeins of geese flying over or a field full of redwing and fieldfare hunting for worms? This is visible migration but there is invisible migration too!

This was brought home to me a couple of years ago. All summer we had four blackbirds (Turdus merula) in our garden, two pairs. One of the females was quite distinctive, she had been beaten up by a cat or something at some point and her feathers were all over the place; we called her 'scruff'! She was there all summer with her mate but as winter approached and the number of blackbirds steadily increased up to eleven we suddenly realised there was no sign of our scruff. She had gone but others were coming in from further north being driven south by the weather.

We humans are home orientated. In general, unless we tradgically find ourselves homeless for what ever reason, we have somewhere we call home. Sure we go on holiday, we visit family and friends, we have a day out somewhere but there is always home sweet home. It is not like that for birds and it is so easy to forget that they are very mobile creatures. Have wings, will travel; they know no bounds and they will go in search of food and shelter - they can be here today but be gone tomorrow depending on their needs.

Migration involves vast movements of birds amongst all species, even the blackbird.


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 9 months ago

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