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160211 blackbird (1)

1 The oldest ringed blackbird to have been recovered in Britain was more than 20 years old.

2 Blackbirds most often sing after it has rained.

3 In the Roman Catholic religion, St Kevin of Glendalough is the patron saint of blackbirds. The legend goes that a blackbird laid an egg in Kevin’s hand when his arms were outstretched in prayer and he remained in that position until the baby bird hatched.

4 Albinism and leucism are common in blackbirds, and many birds have small white patches of feathers.

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5 The blackbird is the national bird of Sweden.

6 The blackbird is the most numerous breeding bird in the British Isles, with a population of around 6 million pairs.

7 The song Sing a song of sixpence (a pocket full of rye, four-and-twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie) was not a coded message used to recruit crew members for the notorious 18th-century pirate Blackbeard. That was an invented urban legend that many people now believe. The true meaning of the rhyme is much debated.

8 Vernacular names for the blackbird include colly (in Gloucestershire), merle (Ireland and Scotland), Zulu (in Somerset) and ouzel.

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