Thursday, 27 September 2012


Over the last couple of weeks I've noticed that quite a few juvenile Blackbirds have been visiting my garden, some to feed on the dropped seed from the feeders others taking the bread and apple that I've put out on the lawn. One thing that makes them stand out is that they are all in the process of moulting out their baby feathers and into a new set of juvenile feathers. Another noticeable thing is that they don't seem to be as 'sharp' as Blackbirds normally appear, quite lethargic in fact, and they spend a great deal of time skulking, or hiding away, under the foliage around the garden. 
One even sat for most of a morning, hunched up in the water, in a small bird bath that I've placed under some Azalea bushes. It looked so forlorn that I was on the point of going to 'rescue' it when it decided that it was time to come out onto the lawn for some more food!
It's an energy sapping and vulnerable time for them at the moment but in a couple more weeks I guess they'll be as smart and sharp as Blackbird's should be, once they get...NEW COATS ALL ROUND.

I spent a couple of mornings taking photographs of them through the double glazing and the wet and dismal light so not the best images of Blackbirds you'll ever see! are some of the better ones!! 

Have you seen my new tail feathers anywhere?

This one seemed to be feeding okay, even with the crossed bill.


ADRIAN said...

Let's hope they get the new jackets before the frost. I haven't noticed any albino blackbirds this year.

The Herald said...

I'm sure they'll have it sorted by then Adrian. Although we did have quite a heavy frost a few nights ago!!

I haven't seen any albinos this year either, maybe White's not in fashion this year!!...[;o)

holdingmoments said...

They'll soon have their new winter coats, and start looking very smart.
I hope the cross billed one manages ok.

grammie g said...

Hi Trevor...Ya I am still alive, I'm just not feeling to "sharp" myself these day's : }...and I think I could use a few tail feathers to lift me up of my lethargic behind ; }!
Odd looking fella with the crossed bill, that I can live without! My son-in-law would say that there is probably to much inbreeding going on..that's how you get those odd looking children! : }
Have a good one..hope these guys get there act together!!

Bob Bushell said...

It's nice to know that life will go on. Great for the young ones that stay in your garden.

The Herald said...

Keith, not long now till they're looking dapper.

'Crossbill' seems to be coping very well at the moment!...[;o)

Hi Grace, It's a bit of a bugger, this moulting lark, I hope you soon get your tail feathers back and you're back up there singing your heart out from the highest perch!

I'm sure these guys will soon be at their best.

Stay safe and have a good weekend...[;o)

Bob, it must have been a good year for Blackbirds around here, I don't think I've ever seen so many in my garden at one time! I hope they stay!...[;o)

Andrew said...

Lovely images Trevor I have the same going on here "up north" and to see it going on in your garden is a real bonus.

The Herald said...

Thanks Andrew. I guess at times we get into the notion that this sort of thing is only happening in our 'own little world' when in fact it's happening to thousands of birds all across the country...[;O)

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos Trevor and I wouldn't have realised they were taken through glass! They do look rather a motley crew at the moment but as you say will look really smart when they get their new coats. Hope you don't have any Sprawks around while they are so lethargic!

Roy said...

"We are not at our best yet you know."

The Herald said...

Thanks Jan, Yeh, since those photographs were taken their appearance has changed quite markedly and they are now almost looking like 'proper' Blackbirds!

I think they're save from Sprawks, the last time I saw one around here was about 18 months ago when it took a Wood Pigeon from the next door garden!!...[;o)

Roy, things are improving by the day!!...[;o)

Findlay Wilde said...

We haven't had many Blackbirds at all so far this year. Pesky Sparrowhawk might be to blame. From Findlay

The Herald said...

Those Sparrowhawks can be a problem Findlay, but on the other hand they're nice to see around...[;o)

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The Herald said...

Hi Joanca. Thank you for stoping by and for your very kind comments...[;o)