His name is Billy the Blackbird and in the absence of a photo of my own I had to resort to a Google image search to illustrate this post, although it has to be said that if you’ve seen one blackbird, you’ve seen them all.
Of course, there is nothing especially remarkable about seeing a blackbird in your garden. We get them every year and very welcome they are too for their tunefulness in spring.
What is different about Billy is that he is very tame. Whenever I cut the grass, he hops along behind me picking up the worms and insects I’ve disturbed. He has also got used to us putting out food for him close to the house and if we forget, he stands no more than a couple of yards from where we sit with a chastening look in his eye.
Unusual, but again not wholly remarkable you’d say, but what makes Billy special is the fact that he is demanding food because he has become a surrogate father.
Our neighbour came across a blackbird chick that must have fallen from its nest and brought it home in an attempt to revive it. Before long, Billy began arriving with a beak full of goodies to feed the chick (now known as Betty) and has continued to do so for the last week or so.
I’m no Bill Oddie so I can’t say just how unusual this behaviour is, but it doesn’t strike me as being entirely the norm. I haven’t spotted a brown feathered partner in the garden, so I’m pretty sure that Billy is a single juvenile, so perhaps he’s just practising his parenting skills or maybe he’s earning a bit of pocket money from babysitting.
Whatever it is, I’ll keep you posted and try again to get a photo of him at work.