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Blackbird odd behaviour ??

There is not much bird activity in my garden at the moment except for ONE blackbird. Looks like a young female. She hops around the garden keeping to the undergrowth where possible, but also on lawn. She hops/flutters up to and into my raised beds, the ones with good cover of crops, and comes quite close to me while gardening. However, I have never seen her fly. The highest I saw her, and that was only once, was clinging to the very small window ledge of the summerhouse, then when I disturbed her she tumbled off and scuttled away under the undergrowth..  I have been leaving food out for her in several places and she arrives every day to eat it.  Normally blackbirds would be landing/sitting on my greenhouse roof, A-frames, arch, birdbath, table & chairs & benches, but this bird is NOT doing any of those things...This has gone on now for about 2-3 weeks.  She seems to be growing but remains lighter in colour and a bit fluffier than a fully grown blackbird female. She is always on her own. She does not fly off (or I have never seen her), always seems to be in hiding in the garden somewhere and often I can hear her getting closer to me when weeding. Any comments please? 


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,348
    Hi @b2laf and welcome to the forum  :)

    Sounds to me like a recently fledged youngster ... they usually lurk in the undergrowth and get fed by the adults, until they get the hang of flying and looking after themselves.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • b2lafb2laf Posts: 8
    Thank you. Yes I though that at first, but no parents around just the one youngster..Im wondering if it can fly.....Im hoping this comes as a natural instinct, but if the parents are no longer, does it?  I dont want to intervene, but also I dont want to see it come to any harm...if there is something I can do (no idea what that is though)
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,348
    The other thing to bear in mind is that as with all of us, some youngsters are born more able than others ... one year 'our' starlings produced a family, one of whom was definitely much less able than his siblings (I used to work with learning disabled children ... the signs were recognisable even in a bird).  His siblings practised acrobatic flying while he spent a lovely summer pootling about our garden, clambering about the grapevine and fudging around in the compost heap ... but he became weaker and weaker and one day in autumn we found a sad little corpse.  C'est la vie ...  :'(
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • b2lafb2laf Posts: 8
    Yes, Nature and survival of the fittest...unlike humanity..who have gone totally against nature :( I guess some will disagree with me, but truth..
    Thank you for reminding me. Yes I think this one is taking her time, so God willing she will survive, looks to be getting bigger by the day...Pigeon now found secret stash of food..Nature is so intelligent..if only man 

  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 23,602
    The trouble is, the fittest humans are rarely the brightest.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,391
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • RedwingRedwing SussexPosts: 1,288
    Sounds like a normal youngster.  They leave the nest before they can fly.  The parents are probably still around, out of sight now because they are moulting and keeping under cover.
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • b2lafb2laf Posts: 8
    Never seen behaviour like this before. Seems to be totally alone. Leaving food in set places which she is aware, one close to dining room door so I can watch less than a meter away.  Loves sultanas (soaked). Comes to feeding place which is at edge of patio with curb and raised bed above. Oregano billows over so quite secluded. Eats a few sultanas then goes to sleep (closes the eye I can see) for a while, breathing is very fast but then that may be normal. Then eyes open again and just sits there....then eats a bit  more...has another nap...then hops off..not seen any sign of flight yet. I have several videos but because under oregano not that light and not that clear. Made a bed in plant pot with a basket liner as I am sure it doesnt have a nest to go back to...not sure what else I can do. I dont want to frighten it by trying to pick up...I guess Nature is in charge...
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,916
    There is a mystery bird disease in eastern US, that sounds sort of similar.  Lethargic, not flying.. but the eyes of these birds are often half closed, crusty, or bulging.. especially near the end before they die.  

    American robins are a type of thrush, just like your British blackbirds.  Pretty unliked that it's in the UK, but not impossible.  
    Utah, USA.
  • b2lafb2laf Posts: 8
    OMG, I'm in tears as I have a feeling you have hit the nail on the head Blue Onion :(  There is something very strange about this bird...not seen anything like it before... She does seem unable to move properly, or as birds do when approached and her eyes and beak have a strange appearance, and her breathing, or what I thought was her breathing is so visible but it could be due to her trembling or tremors. It is as if she cannot keep her eyes open and I feel she is asking for help.  Oh dear, what should I do?  Do I need to report this to RSPB. 
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