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Lindsey Chapman's Living World From the Archives - Blackbirds

Lindsey Chapman relives & updates gems from the Living World archive this week from 2002

Possibly our most familiar songster,a blackbird singing high up on a rooftop is one of the real pleasures of living cheek by jowl with the natural world. These woodland edge members of the thrush family have over centuries become a garden specialist, enriching a morning walk or evening spent after work listening to the mellifluous tunes of the male blackbird. For this Living World nature presenter Lindsey Chapman relives the magic Lionel Kelleway discovered in the Hopetoun Estate near Edinburgh in Scotland.

Beginning early in the morning, Lionel meets up with Will Cresswell a behavioural ecologist and discuss what is going on by this competitive singing between male blackbirds. In spring through to early summer, blackbirds can sing throughout the day and, which is not common in song birds, sing into the night. This energy sapping process is to proclaim their territorial rights to any other birds attempting to move in. Of course the song is only the beginning of the fascinating process of the breeding cycle and the creation of next generation of blackbirds. Along the way to unpick this story Lionel and Will look for evidence of nests to discuss breeding success, the risk the eggs and chicks face from predation, and why territories are important.

In this episode, Lindsey Chapman will bring this story up to date since this programme was first broadcast, offering some recent updates into one of our most familiar and recognisable birds.

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23 minutes