Ancora qualcosa su questo splendido totem alato...FONTE:
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Turdus_merula_-Manchester,_England_-male-8-3c.jpg
The Common Blackbird, Turdus merula, is a species of true thrush. It is also called Eurasian Blackbird (especially in North America, to distinguish it from the unrelated New World blackbirds), or simply Blackbird (in areas where it is the only blackbird-like species). It breeds in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to Australia and New Zealand. It has a number of subspecies across its large range; a few of the Asian subspecies are sometimes considered to be full species. Depending on latitude, the Common Blackbird may be resident, partially migratory or fully migratory.
The male of the nominate subspecies, which is found throughout most of Europe, is all black except for a yellow eye-ring and bill and has a rich melodious song; the adult female and juvenile have mainly dark brown plumage. This species breeds in woods and gardens, building a neat, mud-lined, cup-shaped nest. It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms, berries, and fruits.
Both sexes are territorial on the breeding grounds, with distinctive threat displays, but are more gregarious during migration and in wintering areas. Pairs will stay in their territory throughout the year where the climate is sufficiently temperate. This common and conspicuous species has given rise to a number of literary and cultural references, frequently related to its song.
Taxonomy and name
The Common Blackbird was described by Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae in 1758 as Turdus merula (characterised as T. ater, rostro palpebrisque fulvis). The binomial name derives from two Latin words, turdus, "thrush", and merula, "blackbird", the latter giving rise to its French name, merle. There are about 65 species of medium to large thrushes in the genus Turdus, characterised by rounded heads, longish pointed wings, and usually melodious songs. The Common Blackbird seems to be closest in evolutionary terms to the Island Thrush (T. poliocephalus) of Southeast Asia and islands in the southwest Pacific, which probably diverged from merula stock fairly recently.
It may not immediately be clear why the name "Blackbird", first recorded in 1486, was applied to this species, but not to one of the various other common black British birds, such as the Carrion Crow, Raven, Rook or Jackdaw. However, in Old English, and in modern English up to about the 18th century, "bird" was used only for smaller or young birds, and larger ones such as crows were called "fowl". At that time, the Blackbird was therefore the only widespread and conspicuous "black bird" in the British Isles. Until about the 17th century, another name for the species was ouzel, ousel or wosel (from Old English osle). Another variant occurs in Act 3 of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, where Bottom refers to "The Woosell cocke, so blacke of hew, With Orenge-tawny bill". The ouzel usage survived later in poetry, and still occurs as the name of the closely related Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus), and in Water Ouzel, an alternative name for the unrelated but superficially similar White-throated Dipper (Cinclus cinclus).
Two related Asian Turdus thrushes, the White-collared Blackbird (T. albocinctus) and the Grey-winged Blackbird (T. boulboul), are also named blackbirds, and the Somali Thrush (T. (olivaceus) ludoviciae) is alternatively known as the Somali Blackbird.
The icterid family of the New World is sometimes called the blackbird family because of some species' superficial resemblance to the Old World thrushes, especially this species, but they are not evolutionarily close, being closer to the New World warblers and tanagers. The term is often limited to smaller species with mostly or entirely black plumage, at least in the breeding male, notably the cowbirds, the grackles, and especially around 20 species with "blackbird" in the name, such as the Red-winged Blackbird and the Melodious Blackbird.
The Common Blackbird of the nominate subspecies T. m. merula is 23.5 to 29 centimetres (9.25 to 11.4 in) in length, has a long tail, and weighs 80–125 grammes (2.8 to 4.4 oz). The adult male has glossy black plumage, blackish-brown legs, a yellow eye-ring and an orange-yellow bill. The bill darkens somewhat in winter. The adult female is sooty-brown with a dull yellowish-brownish bill, a brownish-white throat and some weak mottling on the breast. The juvenile is similar to the female, but has pale spots on the upperparts, and the very young juvenile also has a speckled breast. Young birds vary in the shade of brown, with darker birds presumably males. The first year male resembles the adult male, but has a dark bill and weaker eye ring, and its folded wing is brown, rather than black like the body plumage.
As would be expected for a widespread passerine bird species, several geographical subspecies are recognised. The treatment of subspecies in this article follows Clement et al. (2000).
T. m. merula, the nominate subspecies, breeds commonly throughout much of Europe from Iceland, the Faeroes and the British Isles east to the Ural Mountains and north to about 70 N, where it is fairly scarce. A small population breeds in the Nile valley. Birds from the north of the range winter throughout Europe and around the Mediterranean including Cyprus and North Africa. The introduced birds in Australia and New Zealand are of the nominate race.
T. m. azorensis is a small race which breeds in the Azores. The male is darker and glossier than merula.
T. m. cabrerae, named for Ángel Cabrera, Spanish zoologist, resembles azorensis and breeds in Madeira and the western Canary Islands.
T. m. mauretanicus, another small dark species with a glossy black male plumage, breeds in central and northern Morocco, coastal Algeria and northern Tunisia.
T m. aterrimus breeds in Hungary, south and east to southern Greece, Crete northern Turkey and northern Iran. It winters in southern Turkey, northern Egypt, Iraq and southern Iran. It is smaller than merula with a duller male and paler female plumage.
T. m. syriacus breeds on the Mediterranean coast of southern Turkey south to Jordan, Israel and the northern Sinai. It is mostly resident, but part of the population moves south west or west to winter in the Jordan Valley and in the Nile Delta of northern Egypt south to about Cairo. Both sexes of this subspecies are darker and greyer than the equivalent merula plumages.
T. m. intermedius is an Asiatic race breeding from Central Russia to Tajikistan, western and north east Afghanistan, and eastern China. Many birds are resident but some are altitudinal migrants and occur in southern Afghanistan and southern Iraq in winter. This is a large subspecies, with a sooty-black male and a blackish-brown female.
T. m. maximus is a large montane subspecies found from eastern Afghanistan east through the Himalayas between 3200 and 4800 metres (10,560–16,000 ft) to Sikkim, Assam, southern Tibet and western Szechwan, China. It is an altitudinal migrant, and in winter occurs down to 2100 metres (6930 ft) in south east Tibet, but not below 3000 metres (9900 ft) further west. The male is black and the female very dark brown. It is the only subspecies without a yellow or orange eye-ring.
T. m. mandarinus breeds throughout much of south, central and east China. It is a partial migrant to Hong Kong and south to Laos and Vietnam. The male is sooty black, and the female is similar but browner, and paler on the underparts. It is a large subspecies.
T. m. sowerbyi, named for James Sowerby, British naturalist and illustrator, breeds from east Szechwan to Guizhou. It is partially migratory, with some individuals spending the winter in south China and north Indochina. It resembles mandarinus, but is smaller and darker below.
T. m. nigropileus is resident up to about 1820 metres (6000 ft) in the Western Ghats of western India and the northern and central parts of the Western Ghats. Some populations migrate further south in winter. The male is brownish slate-grey with a dark cap, and the female is mid-brown, paler below. It is small with a relatively broad yellow eye-ring.
T. m. spencei, named for William Spence, British entomologist, is very similar to nigropileus, but has a less distinct cap. It is resident in the Eastern Ghats of India. It is of dubious validity, and is often included in nigropileus with which it is said to integrade in the Nallamala Hills.
T. m. simillimus is a common resident of the hills in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, south west India. It is darker than spencei.
T. m. bourdilloni, named for Thomas Fulton Bourdillon, Conservator of Forests in the then princely state of Travancore, is a common resident of the hills above 900 metres (3000 ft) in southern Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It resembles simillimus and intergrades with it in the Palni Hills, but the male is uniform slate brown.
T. m. kinnisii, named for John Kinnis, surgeon to the British military forces in what was then Ceylon, breeds in the hills of Sri Lanka above 900 metres (3000 ft). The male is uniformly blue-grey, and the female is similar but browner. Size as in nigropileus, but eye-ring more reddish-orange.
The taxonomy, especially of the Asian subspecies, is complex. The subspecies from most of the Indian subcontinent, simillimus, nigropileus, bourdilloni, spencei, and kinnissi, are small, only 19–20 centimetres (7.5–8 in) long, and have broad eye-rings. They also differ in proportions, wing formula, egg colour and voice from the other subspecies of the Common Blackbird. They are therefore sometimes considered a separate species, the Indian Blackbird (T. simillimus). The Himalayan subspecies maximus is strikingly different from the simillimus group, being relatively large at 23–28 centimetres (9–11 in) length. It differs from all other subspecies of the Common Blackbird by its complete lack of eye-ring and reduced song. It is therefore sometimes considered a full species, the Tibetan Blackbird (T. maximus). The remaining Asian subspecies, the relatively large intermedius and mandarinus, and the smaller sowerbyi, also differ in structure and voice, and may represent a third species, the Chinese Blackbird (T. mandarinus). Alternatively, it has been suggested that they should be considered subspecies of T. maximus, but they differ in structure, voice and the appearance of the eye-ring.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Turdus_merula_-Gran_Canaria,_Canary_Islands,_Spain-8_%282%29.jpg
In Europe, the Common Blackbird can be confused with the paler-winged first-winter Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) or the superficially similar European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris). The Sri Lankan subspecies, T. m. kinsii, resembles the Sri Lanka Whistling-thrush (Myophonus blighi) and the out-of-range Tickell's Thrush (Turdus unicolor). However, the former species always has blue in the plumage, and the latter has a pale belly. A number of similar Turdus thrushes exist far outside the range of the Common Blackbird, for example the South American Chiguanco Thrush (Turdus chiguanco).
Songs and calls
The first-year male Common Blackbird of the nominate race may start singing as early as late January in fine weather in order to establish a territory, followed in late March by the adult male. The male's song is a varied and melodious low-pitched fluted warble, given from trees, rooftops or other elevated perches mainly in the period from March to June, sometimes into the beginning of July. It has a number of other calls, including an aggressive seee, a pook-pook-pook alarm for terrestrial predators like cats, and various chink and chook, chook vocalisations. The territorial male invariably gives chink-chink calls in the evening in an (usually unsuccessful) attempt to deter other Blackbirds from roosting in its territory overnight. Like other passerine birds, it has a thin high seee alarm call for threats from birds of prey since the sound is rapidly attenuated in vegetation, making the source difficult to locate.
At least two subspecies, T. m. merula and T. m. nigropileus, will mimic other species of birds, cats, humans or alarms, but this is usually quiet and hard to detect. The large mountain races, especially T. m. maximus, have comparatively poor songs, with a limited repertoire compared with the western, peninsular Indian and Sri Lankan taxa.
The Common Blackbird was seen as a sacred though destructive bird in Classical Greek folklore, and was said to die if it consumed pomegranate. Like many other small birds, it has in the past been trapped in rural areas at its night roosts as an easily available addition to the diet, and in medieval times the conceit of placing live birds under a pie crust just before serving may have been the origin of the familiar nursery rhyme:
Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye;
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie!
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The Common Blackbird's melodious, distinctive song is the theme of the poem Adlestrop by Edward Thomas;
And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
The song is also recalled in the Beatles track "Blackbird":
Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
The Common Blackbird, unlike many black creatures, is not normally seen as a symbol of bad luck, but R. S. Thomas wrote that there is "a suggestion of dark Places about it", and it symbolised resignation in the 17th century tragic play The Duchess of Malfi; an alternate connotation is vigilance, the bird's clear cry warning of danger.
The Common Blackbird is the national bird of Sweden, which has a breeding population of 1–2 million pairs, and was featured on a 30 öre Christmas postage stamp in 1970.
Omens and Mysticism
Blackbirds symbolize the tie to Nature and her energies.
They herald a new understanding of the forces of nature as they come into your life.
Blackbirds with a yellow head are associated with the Angel Auriel,
who oversees nature and nature spirits.
Red-Winged Blackbirds are directly connected to
the Goddess and primal feminine energies.
It is also associated with the astrological sign of Cancer.
Some of the information on this webpage was derived from the following sources:
Sans, Jamie & Carson, David. Medicine Cards: the Discovery of Power Through the Way of Animals. Santa Fe, NM. 1988. Print.
Andrews, Ted. Animal-speak: the Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1993. Print.
Andrews, Ted. Animal-Wise: the Spirit Language and Signs of Nature. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1999. Print.
D. J. Conway. Animal Magick: the Art of Recognizing & Working with Familiars. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2003. Print.
Farmer, Steven D. Animal Spirit Guides. Hayhouse Inc., 2006. Print.
Symbolic Meaning of Blackbirds
Birds robed in black do not give up their secrets easily. They love to watch us marvel over their messages. Black birds demand our commitment to learning their wisdom, and do not reveal their meanings unless they are convinced we've devoted ourselves completely to the path of understanding (both dark and light sides of) energy.
This concept correlates to lunar themes too. The symbolic meaning of blackbirds is eternally linked to the "dark vs light" phases of the moon. I'm talking nocturnal awareness. Illumined lunar understanding which requires a different use of the senses. Sense which can only be utilized when transformative devotion is made. A commitment to higher knowing (flight) and an acceptance of the void (infinite vastness that eludes the ego and rational mind).
This is a fundamental concept of alchemy which is: Transition and Transformation. The bird is symbolic of life in the heavens (higher ideals, higher path of knowing) and the color black is symbolic of pure potential. Between the two, there is no limit to human transformation - all we have to do is close the shutters of the rational mind, and start sojourning with our darkly feathered friends.
Black birds (in general) are archetypes of living life in higher realms, and are symbolic of:
This is because birds are (metaphorically and mythologically speaking), situated in proximity to the higher energies of the Universe. This also positions them as heavenly or divine oracles and messengers in cultural myths across the globe.
Blackbirds and birds of black or dark colors are special among their airy clan as they are the symbolic of:
Through consistent unveiling of your inner depths, (as our coal-black avian friends would have us do) positive/active utilization of these inner impulses the esoteric secrets become exposed to the light of your own consciousness.
Are these concepts deep? Absolutely. It's the nature of the color black laid softly against airborne oracles (blackbirds, ravens, crows, etc).
It is no simple mind that summons these onyx beauties. Thankfully, these sky-clad lovelies will never come to a person who is not equipped to read the deeper meanings behind its presence. Better said: If you did not already know the answers, you would have never had the encounter.
FONTE IMMAGINE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Blackbird_and_Kestrel.jpg