Blackbird's song

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Blackbird's song
From: Vicki Powys <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2003 09:39:43 +1000
There have been some interesting responses to the question - Do Blackbirds
sing better in Europe than in Australia?

To summarize, suggestions as to why they may sing better in Europe are:

more Blackbirds per acre in Europe, thus more competition and more
territorial song.

better food supplies so more time for singing (this applies to Australia's
Superb Lyrebird - in poorer country they do sing much less).

association with closely-related species with similar songs, in Europe, may
influence song output.

possibly Blackbirds share territories in Australia, so the males sing less.

But if Blackbirds also sing better in New Zealand (as someone has
suggested), then what is going on here?

Maybe there are more predators in Australia?  Is that why Blackbirds are
seemingly more furtive, and perhaps sing less?  In Europe, Blackbirds can
colonize town gardens, but do they do this in Australia?  Maybe Blackbirds
are lower in the pecking order, ousted perhaps by currawongs, kookaburras,
ravens, butcherbirds?  Any comments here?

I understand that European songbirds do generally have fewer nest predators
than Australian songbirds.  European birds thus lay more eggs in a single
nest, than do Aussie passerines.  Conversely, while the Aussie birds lay
fewer eggs, they may have many more nest attempts per season than their
European counterparts.

Some song comparisons will be useful too, that one is on my "to do" list!

Vicki Powys
Capertee Valley NSW

> on 21/7/03 12:38 PM, simon starr at  wrote:
> Michael Hunter in his report on a visit to Paris mentioned that he wished his
> Blackbirds at home sang as well as the French ones that he heard.
> I moved to Australia from the UK 10 years ago and have yet to hear a Blackbird
> sing anywhere close to as well as I was used to back in the "old country".
> Their song over here just never seems to really get going.I've asked a few
> Aussies who've said that yes they do sing well here,but they haven't heard an
> English Blackbird in full song. The question is why?
> Are they longing for home?!
> Simon Starr.

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