blackbird

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Related to Common Blackbird: European blackbird, Eurasian Blackbird

blackbird,

common name in North America of a perching bird allied to the bobolink, the meadow lark, the oriole, and the grackle and belonging to the family Icteridae. The European blackbird, Turdus merula, is a thrush. The blackbird is possibly the most numerous N America land bird. The red-winged blackbird of E North America is a familiar sight, its scarlet shoulder patches conspicuous among the tall grasses of the marshes and wet meadows where it nests. It eats grain, insects, and weed seeds. Another common species is the yellow-headed blackbird, Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus. Except during the breeding season, blackbirds usually travel in flocks. The yellow-headed, the tricolored red-winged, and brewer blackbirds are found in the West. The rusty blackbird, glossy blue-black in summer when the brown edging of its winter feathers has worn off, winters in the United States. Many members of the family are polygamous, although the incidence of polygamous behavior varies from population to population. For example, in the brewer blackbird, the male becomes polygamous only when there are more females than males; when the balance is even, monogamy is the rule. The female blackbird usually builds the nest, which consists of a cup-shaped structure made of grasses. Flocks of blackbirds may be as large as 5 million birds, and they often do serious crop damage when foraging for food. However, the birds are invaluable because of the insects they consume. Blackbirds are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Icteridae.

blackbird

[′blak‚bərd]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any bird species in the family Icteridae, of which the males are predominantly or totally black.

blackbird

1. a common European thrush, Turdus merula, in which the male has a black plumage and yellow bill and the female is brown
2. any of various American orioles having a dark plumage, esp any of the genus Agelaius
3. History a person, esp a South Sea Islander, who was kidnapped and sold as a slave, esp in Australia
References in periodicals archive ?
During the USUV outbreak in Germany, the common blackbird population decreased by an additional 15.
However, the common blackbird population in the USUV-suitable areas continued to decline after the initial outbreak.
7% in the common blackbird populations compared with the development of populations not affected by USUV.
In 1996, the first recognized USUV outbreak outside Africa caused a massive die-off among common blackbirds (Turdus merula) in the Tuscany region of Italy (11).
Several bird taxa of different taxonomic orders were found to be susceptible to USUV infections (2); during the USUV outbreaks in Europe, common blackbirds accounted for the largest proportion of observed dead birds (2).
For example, the high mortality rate among common blackbirds might increase the chance of USUV spillover to humans, because the dead hosts are not present as immune or dead-end hosts (15, 43, 46, 47).
Unusual and grouped bird fatalities observed in August and September 2015 in common blackbirds in Haut-Rhin and Rhone did not seem to alter blackbird population dynamics (data not shown).