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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : (Aberrant) Blackbird

Hebrides Birds Pied Blackbird

(Aberrant) Blackbird

Turdus torquatus

Photograph © Frank Stark
Stornoway - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
April, 2005

In the Lews castle grounds Close to the rugby pitch.


Frank sent in this photograph and another photograph of the aberrant blackbird in response to a question about a mystery bird seen in the castle grounds on March 18th 2007.


Requests for identification of the mystery bird were put on the sightings page and are the replies:

I have copied the photograph into my photographic programme and enlarged as much as possible and we think it is a "Blackbird". The reason for this is the 1) posture. -- 2) the length of tail. ---- 3) the with of tail (at end) and 4) The shape and colour of the bill. BUT hang on a bit - because if you have a clearer pic we may change our mind.
Do you have a higher resolution pic of the bird in question please.
John H

i have attached an image of the bird i spotted last year in the castle grounds. The bird reported recently is probably the same one, or possibly one of it's offspring but if i was a betting man, i would put my money on the former.

I have attached another couple of images for use on your site. I have picked one showing the right profile of the bird and you can see from the two photographs that it has two equally spaced white patches on either side of its head, which matches the bird found recently.
Incidently, i photographed this bird in April 2005 in the castle grounds, close to the old rugby pitch.

See Frank's excellent photograph above and another of his photographs of the aberrant Blackbird on a different page

Frank S
For what it's worth i would say the strange bird in the castle grounds is a Blackbird with pied markings and not a ring ouzel.
Frank S
I think the "Ring Ouzel" is an aberrant Blackbird. RO would show very
neat white fringing to all the black wing feathers, which from this
angle would be very obvious
Martin S
I think it is a blackbird Ela S
I think the Ring Ouzel Photo is actually of a Blackbird which has some albinism. Ring Ouzels don’t have the yellow eye ring which clearly shows in one of the photos and the secondary and primary feathers should show much lighter edging. The white on an ouzel should be on the top of the chest and not on the sides of the head and neck as this shows. I’m sure this is an adult Male Blackbird with patches of white about it. I’m down in Devon but there are Ring Ouzel nearby on Dartmoor where I have studied them. J.F.Jones


Some of our Blackbird photographs

male adult


  • Blackbird
  • Turdus merula
  • Gaelic: Lòn-dubh
  • WI: Fairly common resident breeder (100-999 breeding pairs), and Passage Visitor (low numbers)


Blackbird records in the Western Isles

Fairly common resident breeder (100-999 breeding pairs), and Passage Visitor (low numbers)
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)

On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Blackbird is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

























(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)



Frank's web site of his nature photography

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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