All quiet on the Histon Front

Last weekend I posted about the blackbird war that was taking place in my garden on Saturday morning. By Sunday things appeared to be quiet first thing until two female blackbirds appeared and commenced battling for breeding rights.

One of the feisty females scanning her territory for possible competition

The females chased each other round for about half an hour when who should show up…


Hard on the heels of Blacktip came The Arch Rival, and as soon as the females established their pecking order, battle commenced. At the close of hostilities on Saturday the apparent winner was Blacktip but on Sunday the female appeared to have switched her allegiance and teamed up with The Arch Rival and both of them now joined forces to chase off Blacktip:

The Arch Rival gaining the upper hand

And Blacktip making a tactical withdrawal after some protracted aerial exchanges and succumbing to numerical advantage

Things cooled off considerably after Sunday but minor skirmishes took place until Tuesday with The Arch Rival and his moll the seeming victors. But ever since then the garden has been frequented by various blackbirds including Blacktip. So even if he lost the insemination rights he has still retained access to his feeding territory.

Fascinating stuff!

8 responses to “All quiet on the Histon Front

  1. The things that go on in your garden….Delighted to see The Arch Rival back again. I know I should be feeling sorry for Blacktip but I have a soft spot for The Rival.

  2. Great photos! They live in an interesting society!

    • They do indeed. But the great thing about then is that they don’t seem to bear grudges. They’re all busy feeding away now with no hint of territorial aggression. Homo sapiens could learn from them.

      • I’ve noticed that with many other species of birds too. In winter I will see dozens from mixed species in our feeding area with no squabbles at all.

      • You’re absolutely right. When the snows came here a few weeks ago I regularly had two robins on my feeders at the same time with no apparent signs of aggression. And that’s unusual, robins can scalp and kill each other during territorial battles. And there were lots of other species there too.

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