A common garden visitor, the blackbird is easy to overlook due to it being a resident year-round feeder. Research shows however that at last 12% of blackbirds in the UK and Ireland during the winter months are immigrants from Europe. Originally a woodland species, the blackbird has adapted very well to the urban environment and has now become a firm favourite with garden birdwatchers.
The most serious threat to urban blackbids is pro-longed periods of dry weather. This restricts access to earthworms which in turn puts blackbirds and their offspring at risk of starvation. Two reasons why feeding garden birds all year round is important. Food for blackbirds could include live-foods like mealworms and waxworms.
Blackbirds certainly do make the most of gardens and will return year after year to the same area to feed if food is readily available.
Intriguingly though studies have shown that there is a distinct lack of garden use by blackbirds from August to the end of October. This lull in blackbird activity is possibly linked to a bountiful harvest of fruits and berries in local hedgerows. This point of low activity – the autumn trough – may also occur during the autumn post-breeding moult. Moulting individuals can become shy and prefer to skulk around the countryside rather than visit urban gardens.
Planting bushes and hedgerows, such as rowan and holly, may help to keep blackbirds and indeed, other species of birds visiting your garden all year round. If you’re wondering what to feed a blackbird then look no further than Haith’s Huskfree Advance with Juniper Berries, a tried and tested no mess mix. Order today and we promise you and your blackbirds won’t be disappointed!