Do blackbirds only sing during one spring?

farntfar

Venu d'un pays ou il ne pleut pas
Joined
Oct 26, 2013
Messages
3,348
Location
France.
My assumptions may be wrong but as far, as I understand it, a male blackbird, like many other birds, sings to attract a mate.
I also believe that blackbirds tend to mate for life.
And that they live for several years.

So assuming that he is successful in finding a mate in his first year and that she lives as long as he does, does the male blackbird not sing for the rest of his life?

I know that birds (certainly tits) have specific chirps for warnings of predators and stuff. So a blackbird probably has special cries for other things. But it's the beautiful singing that interests me. Not counting widower birds, do they give up singing after marriage?
 
No, they keep singing after they've attracted a mate. (You can tell this because they keep singing into July.) The reason for this is that the song is also to hold territory. After the breeding season, territory becomes irrelevant.
 
I often see groups of male blackbirds facing up to each other (sometimes fighting) on early spring mornings so I’d go with the territory explanation. Territory also means food supply so warning or chasing off a rival helps ensure survival.
 
I once observed a three-way sing-off between robins at a point in a wood where the path forked, with one robin in each angle. You could see the paths were used as territory boundaries, which I found interesting.

Going back to blackbirds, in my opinion they are the most "musical" of European species.
 
My favourite blackbird moment….Peregrine Falcons nest every year at my old place of work. Nuclear reactor buildings are perfect substitutes for cliffs. One year, I saw a male blackbird hold his place on a piece of pipework and face off against a young (but almost fully grown) falcon. You couldn’t help but admire this bird standing up for itself despite being outgunned by the bird of prey.
 
A pitiful blackbird moment just this week. We heard a lot of commotion and chiyakking and saw a female hopping back and forth looking very agitated close to one of my herb beds, and movement of the leaves suggested there was something going on hidden in the sage bush there. My husband went to investigate, the blackbird still there making a noise, and suddenly a sparrowhawk flew up out of the sage and sped off over the garden, with what must have been a juvenile blackbird in its claws. What was so heartbreaking, the female immediately went flying after it, as if she thought she might be able to rescue her baby.
 
They sing and sing and sing. We used to have one who sat in the chimney and sang for several years. We called him Deathwish as he was also a little cavalier about where he flew and into what.

TJ - our miserable hound caught a blue tit fledging and then went after its brother a few years ago. the parents fought and fought for the wee thing. In the end, my husband picked the (now very disgruntled) dog up and carried him off inside and the baby eventually rejoined its parents.
 
My cat once caught a juvenile sparrow, had it in its jaws (we were all in the garden and the cat had been up and down this particular tree), anyway the parent birds started divebombing my cat and making a terrible ruckus, never seen anything like it. My cat was super spooked and dropped the juvenile. I scooped it up in a small towel and it wasn't badly hurt just in shock. Let it calm for about 3-4 minutes and then it flew up to the roof with the two parent birds and they all sat up there chirping ferociously. Theyre pretty lucky my cat is a bit of a huntress and frequently kills things.
 
I first caught my wife's attention singing Hound Dog at a pub karaoke night in 1992.
I still occasionally sing so yes, it works for people as well
 
Blackbird song is lovely. I have heard lots of it this year, so much so that it is sometimes difficult to hear other birdsong.
Does anyone else use the ChirpOmatic phone app?
 
I thought this thread title was about the name of some undiscovered P K Dick novel. ;)

I'm pretty new to birdwatching and I can't sing. I do have other qualities that made it possible to attract a mate!

I've not used an App, but the problem with listening to CDs or online Wav files of birdsong is that, out in the real world, there are often several different bird's calls all overlapping at the same time. Doesn't that also make it just as difficult for the App as it does a person?

As others have said, there are many different calls made by birds rather than just to attract mates - there are also territorial "keep off my land" calls, and danger "humans and predators nearby" calls.
 
The app I use seems to be able to separate out several different bird species from a single recording. Rumble from planes and nearby road traffic makes it less sensitive.
 

Similar threads


Back
Top