Sunday, December 6, 2009

Four Calling Birds

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

Four Calling Birds,
Three French Hens,
Two Turtle Doves, and
A partridge in a pear tree.

Calling birds is an Americanization of the traditional English Colly birds. "Colly" is a dialect word meaning "black as coal". Colly bird or Black bird most likely refers to the Common Blackbird, Turdus merula.

The Common Blackbird is an old world thrush native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. It was successfully
Common Blackbird, also called Eurasian Blackbi...Image via Wikipedia
introduced to Australia and New Zealand.The male of this species is black with yellow eye rings and bill. The female and juvenile, like most passerine birds, have dark brown mottled plumage.

Both male and female and territorial and will defend their carefully built, mud-lined, cup shaped nest.
It has a pleasant and distinctive song - a medley of chirps and whistles - and various warning calls.

I found this Youtube video by a patient birdwatcher. You can hear and see a Common Blackbird from Szlov├íkia. 

Take care!

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  1. I read an article recently that said birds and other animals from different parts of the world actually chirp/communicate in "accents." What do you think about that?

  2. Yep, I've heard about that too! It makes sense because variation in songs and calls can happen over time and if the species (or even individuals) are separated, their songs can vary differently. I read a paper some time back about a male and a female bird of the same species (I can't recall the name)but taken from different parts of the world, failed to recognized each other as potential mates because of the difference in the mating calls.

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