Why is female blackbird calling?

I live in the city centre of Newcastle and every year for the past 5 years between approx May and August a brown blackbird perches on a telephone pole and calls a shrill very loud call for about 20 minutes. It used to be around 7pm each evening, but is now sometimes midday and even 2.00am at night.


The bird has also been nesting in the basement car park of the buidling.


My question is,


I'm assuming this is the mother bird so why is she calling? Is it defending territory, or calling fledglings to feed them?


I had wondered if it was a brown fledgling calling for its mother for food?


Is there anything I can do to discourage it or encourage it to move elsewhere as call is painfully shrill?



  • This sounds like it could possibly be an alarm call, nothing you can really do as they are a very vocal species of bird during their breeding season, especially when they sense danger.

    They can deliver a shrill call but i think most people would put up with the odd shrill if it means we get to hear the fantastic song, with garden birds you have to take the rough with the smooth sometimes!

    Warden Intern at Otmoor.

  • Hi Gus and welcome to RSPB Community.

    Blackbirds have 3 grades of warning call that I can determine.

    There's general anxiety - a kind of muted "chook chook chook" which they sit in a bush and do if something they're not happy about is nearby

    There's "Danger" - a shriller "pink pink pink" which they do when mobbing something

    And there's "Emergency - take cover!"  A much accelerated "pinkpinkpinkpinkpinkpink" which nomally culminates in the bird departing in a big hurry.

    All very different to their flutey song, and all in reaction to a perceived threat.


    Every day a little more irate about bird of prey persecution, and I have a cat - Got a problem with that?

  • Hi Gus

    I know exactly what you mean.

    When my cat was alive my local blackbird used to make so much noise, when I let him out in the mornings and he walked along the top of the fence, that I used to not let him out before 7.30am because I knew that the blackbird would wake up the neighbours :-)

    Sadly, I don't think there is anything that you will be able to do to get it to call elsewhere.

    Best wishes Chris

    Click Here to see my photos

  • We have had 2 days of alarm calling by a brown bird from 4am till well after dusk. It’s been chasing magpies and anything else that strays into our airspace. With a small garden the noise has been quite something but tonight a fledgling has come waddling across the lawn. How it has escaped our very predatory cats I cannot imagine. Lodged a little platform in our beech hedge and put the little *** on it and peace has been restored Mother bird flew off and returned with a moth and the hellish racket has stopped
  • In reply to AnnetteG:

    I agree that blackbird alarm calls can be extremely annoying. As birds move around, the best way to reduce alarm calls is to keep your cats in at the high risk times of around dawn and around dusk. That is what is recommended. Handling birds causes unnecessary stress to the moved bird and the watching parent.