The brown female and black male

Spotting a blackbird

The Blackbird is one of the most common UK birds. Males are black with an orange-yellow beak and eye area. Females are brown with spots and other patterns on their breasts.


The life expectancy of a blackbird is around three years, but they have been known to live into double figures.


Blackbirds live in woodland, grassland and gardens where you can easily spot them. They tend to live in the same area in which they were hatched.

They’ll nest close to the ground under the cover of a bush or tree and build a neat, round nest.

In March they begin breeding and by late July will have raised up to three families (or ‘broods’)! The female will lay up to five eggs which take two weeks to hatch. The babies will eat earthworms or caterpillars and leave the nest at around two weeks old.


Blackbirds eat insects, earthworms, fruit and berries. They find earthworms by listening for movement just beneath the ground’s surface. You may spot them in your garden, flipping fallen leaves as they search for food beneath.

Did you know…

The nursery rhyme ‘Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye, four-and-twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie‘ is thought to have been a coded message used by the 18th century pirate Blackbeard to find crew members!

Feeding Blackbirds

Blackbirds are ground feeders but will feed from a bird table.

They enjoy mealworms, flaked maize, uncooked oats and fat balls (remove any netting first).

Plant bushes that attract caterpillars as another food source.

Click here for our guide to making a fat and seed ball.

Nest Boxes

Blackbirds will use an open fronted nest box.

Position the nest box 1-2m off the ground and attach it to a wall, fence or tree with shrubs and creepers growing around it. 

Visit an RSBP Reserve

Visit somewhere with loads of birds! There are hundreds of nature reserves – find one near you on the RSPB website. (Takes you to an external site).