My most regular garden visitor of late has been a blackbird, definitely male as he has the instantly recognisable yellow/orange beak. More recently he seems to have brought his mate along with him. Although I feel sure that this is the same pair visiting daily, I decided to do some research and find out if blackbirds return to the same garden.
Blackbirds are fiercely territorial, not quite as protective as our friend the robin, but they will fight and screech to protect their boundaries.
Their territory is usually a small garden space where they build their nests, hatch and raise their young.
From early spring you should expect to see the same pair of blackbirds using your garden, and they will very possibly return the following year, once the worst of the winter is over.
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Do Blackbirds Use the Same Nest for Each Brood?
Once they have selected the spot for their nest, the female will set about making it. She will choose grass, straw, small twigs, and other plant materials, so their nest might not be the most robust of all garden birds. First-time nest builders don’t always achieve great success, they have either selected an inappropriate site or their lack of experience might cause the nest to fail. They think nothing of dismantling the nest and rebuilding somewhere close, reusing some of the same materials.
Depending on the weather, blackbirds might have 3 or 4 broods a year and it is not uncommon for them to reuse the nest. However, if the nest has been disturbed, or worse still, predated, the blackbirds will abandon it, never to return. Blackbirds are notorious for deserting nests, never to return.
They are sensitive creatures, if the dreaded sparrow hawk or magpie have stolen their chicks, they will unlikely breed again that season.
Do Blackbirds Return to the Same Garden Year after Year?
Once all of their young have fledged and the winter closes in, blackbirds tend to leave their garden territories and head to the countryside. They travel to areas where food is in abundance and vary their diet to include more berries and seed.
As spring rolls around the blackbirds make their way back to their territory, occasionally they might be beaten to it by one of their young who was reared there the previous year. If so, they move on to find a new, unoccupied space close by.
If their previous nest has survived the winter, the birds will not reuse it. Instead, they choose to start from scratch with this year’s soft and fresh materials.
Why are the Blackbirds Digging?
Blackbirds are one of the most common British birds and can be seen virtually anywhere all year round from gardens to the countryside, coastlines to hills.
If you have a garden with trees, shrubs, or climbing plants, you will very probably have a pair of blackbirds that choose to make your garden their territory.
As they live for around 4-years, those same blackbirds will return to the same garden each year to raise their family.