Thrushes (Turdidae)

Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) - HBW 10, p. 645

French: Merle noir German: Amsel Spanish: Mirlo Común
Other common names: Blackbird, Eurasian Blackbird, Black Thrush; Chinese/Eastern Blackbird (intermedius, sowerbyi and mandarinus)

Taxonomy: Turdus Merula Linnaeus, 1758, Europe = Sweden.
Formerly considered conspecific with T. maximus and T. simillimus. E races intermedius, sowerbyi and mandarinus possibly warrant separation as a distinct species on basis of size, structure and voice. Proposed race insularum from S Greek islands (Lesvos, Andros, Ikaria, Samos, Crete, Rhodes) considered indistinguishable from syriacus. Nine subspecies recognized. Introduced Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, subsequently present also Lord Howe I, Norfolk Is, Macquarie I and Kermadec Is.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • merula Linnaeus, 1758 - Europe (except N & SE).
  • azorensis Hartert, 1905 - Azores.
  • cabrerae Hartert, 1901 - Madeira and W Canary Is.

     See all 9 subspecies
  • merula Linnaeus, 1758 - Europe (except N & SE).
  • azorensis Hartert, 1905 - Azores.
  • cabrerae Hartert, 1901 - Madeira and W Canary Is.
  • mauritanicus Hartert, 1902 - NW Africa.
  • aterrimus (Madarász, 1903) - SE Europe, W & N Turkey, Caucasus area and N Iran; non-breeding also Middle East.
  • syriacus Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833 - islands of S Greece (N Cyclades and Crete), SW & S Turkey and Levant.
  • intermedius (Richmond, 1896) - Tien Shan S to NW and NE Afghanistan; non-breeding Iraq E to S Afghanistan.
  • sowerbyi Deignan, 1951 - C China (Gansu S to W Sichuan); non-breeding S China and N Indochina.
  • mandarinus Bonaparte, 1850 - E China (E from E Sichuan and Guizhou); non-breeding S China, Hainan and N Indochina.