Monday, 22 October 2012

Guarding the berries

The rowan in the garden is laden with succulent berries. Blackbirds have been showing an interest in the rowan since the beginning of the month. On the 9th, a male tried them, picking them up, and dropping them. It have me the impression it was checking how ripe they were, and he just felt they weren't quite right. Since them, I have flushed the blackbirds from the rowan a few times, often a pair. I watched a male feeding on honesuckle berries yesterday, while the cotoneaster does not seem to be ripe yet. This distinctive male - note the pair of white feathers on his chest - sat on the rowan for a while, surrounded by the colourful changing leaves of the tree and the clumps of heavy berries. Typical blackbird 'sitting' behaviour, quietly guarding his sweet red crop.


  1. That is a lovely image. I have lots of honeysuckle berries but have never spotted any bird eating them.

  2. Thank you Toffeeapple. I had honeysuckle berries many years and I have only seen one blackbird eating them, once. Snow & Snow did record Blackbirds and Robins feeding on honeysuckle, although with a small number of records, which they attribute to the abundance of other preferred berries at the time of fruit ripening, such as elder and rowan.