Country Corner

Hen blackbird
Hen blackbird

Did I ever tell you about Jeanie?

Every morning I have breakfast in the conservatory before setting off to work.

Jeanie is always waiting in the garden and flutters over to stare at me through the glass.

It is the stare of a begging dog, very hard to resist.

She knows the routine well.

I keep her tin of dried mealworns beside my chair.

Opening the window I tip some out to her, and she is on them in a flash, though taking great care not to attract the attention of any other bird.

I fondly imagine she has kept up this routine for two or three years now, though, of course, she may not be the original Jeanie!

There are always nesting season raids by village cats and many is the night disturbed by blackbird alarm calls.

This makes it unlikely she is the original, but my morning routine continues.

Though you can probably tell from the picture, Jeanie is a hen blackbird, though the speckles of female blackies often cause folk to assume they are thrushes.

Hardly surprising when you realise blackbirds are members of the thrush family.

In fact, the Latin name for blackbird is Turdus merula - Turdus (the thrush) and merula (the blackbird).