Blackbirds are familiar to us as garden birds. But if we look and listen there's much to discover. On radio 4 Tweet of the Day the blackbird features twice.
4th December 2013. Chris Packham tells us on an influx of European blackbirds arriving from the Continent to swell the numbers of our native blackbirds. Some of these Continental males have a dark bill. Unlike the male with golden bill I show above.
12 January 2021. David Rothenberg focuses on blackbird calls and song. He is Professor of Philosophy and Music, Jersey Institute of Technology with a special interest in animal sounds as music. Blackbirds relearn their song each spring as that part of the brain atrophies during autumn to regrow for the breeding season. I had come across this in reading Professor Tim Birkhead on skylarks. With both birds, the musicality of the song increases as the season progresses. And each blackbird's song is unique. Their calls are functional. Their song is shaped and musical, a performance.
And, still on a cosmic theme, Google sends me an image of NGC 6960. Witch's Broom, the Veil Nebula, a supernova remnant. More stunning images. To me, Witch's Broom is found on birch trees. A viral infection causes abnormal growth and a dense cluster of twigs appears in the birch, as if a witch got her broom caught in the branches and left it there.