Blackbird??? Is this bird moulting or has it got some kind of disease? Your opinion would be much appreciated. Photo taken in East Leake near Loughborough.

  • Hi Eleanor, I would say Female Blackbird, it looks quite clean about the face and head, so I would say no disease, mites or ticks. Probably getting it's new feathers, after all the business of looking after young ones. Then again on looking at it, maybe it is a male (all black) and the feathers are missing from around the head, neck, chest and part wing, due to mites etc. Let's wait and see what others say.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Hi Eleanor, as Catlady says, it's a blackbird going through the moulting process; the head feathers are normally the last to be replaced hence it looks a bit more bald in that area. I'm certainly no expert (and don't quote me on it !! ) but best guess is that this would be an juvenile or immature male... showing the darker plumage of a male and the dark bill with no yellow eye-ring yet .

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    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"