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Voice that heralds the onset of warmer days; THE UNMISTAKABLE SOUND OF A BLACKBIRD MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD TO BE ALIVE.

Byline: ALAN WRIGHT

THERE is a telegraph pole that overlooks our back garden and its flat, wooden top is a stage to an act that would have the chairs spinning on The Voice.

Yes, it's almost spring and our pole will be the perfect spot for one of nature's most tuneful singers - the blackbird.

Throughout the coming months the pole and other assorted highpoints will host different blackbirds celebrating the warmer weather with varied and flute-like songs from the first light of every morning.

They will even sing at night if they are confused by street lights, which always makes me a little sad.

You cannot mistake a blackbird song, even though they are varied.

One thing is certain, that song is always loud and very proud and really makes you feel good to be alive.

Blackbirds start to sing during the breeding season in late February and all the way through July. Over winter you can actually hear them 'singing to themselves' in bushes and trees. Stop for just a couple of seconds and consider how lovely that is.

Blackbirds in the during late and all Alan Of course, both male and females are one of our favourite garden birds.

They are cheeky enough to shout out if you haven't put some raisins on the bird table. We even had one that hopped into the kitchen to demand food some summers ago.

Male blackbirds are black with a yellow bill and a yellow ring around the eyes. Females are dark brown with streaks on the chest and throat. If you are lucky enough to see young blackbirds, they are also brown with gingery streaks, which can sometimes mean they are confused with the thrush, which is the same family - but only from a distance.

start to sing season February through July Wright If you have a lawn you will see blackbirds digging their bills into the ground for food and stopping, head cocked to one side as they listen out for those noisy earthworms down below.

In our local Bird Atlas, which records populations in the region, blackbirds are doing well. While many birds saw falls in numbers in the 60s and 70s, the numbers of blackbirds tended to be stable.

Our own native blackbirds appear happy to live with humanity and to take advantage of our kindness. ? The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside is dedicated to the protection and promotion of the wildlife in Lancashire, seven boroughs of Greater Manchester and four of Merseyside, all lying north of the River Mersey. It manages around 40 nature reserves and 20 local nature reserves covering acres of woodland, wetland, upland and meadow. The trust has 29,000 members, and over 1,200 volunteers.

. ? To become a member of the Trust go to the website at lancswt.org.uk or call 01772 324129. For more information about Cheshire Wildlife Trust, call 01948 820728 or go to cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk.

Blackbirds start to sing in the breeding season during late February and all through July Alan Wright

CAPTION(S):

A blackbird scratches his ear

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Date:Feb 15, 2018
Words:515
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