Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Four Calling Birds

It is said that the word "calling" is a derivation of the word collie or colly which comes from the old word for black and has it's origins in the coal industry (such as a colliery or a collier). Thus four calling birds may well refer to four blackbirds.

Fluffy singing blackbird
A few years ago my parents bought me a toy blackbird from the RSPB's range of singing toy birds. This was an attempt at teaching me bird song since after years of nature walks I still fail to differentiate between robin and blackbird songs. My fluffy blackbird sits on my shelf in Preston and occasional it has it's tummy squeezed to make it sing its tune-see here for a listen.

According to the RSPB website the blackbird is no longer in stock, so maybe I now have a collectable! Thankfully real blackbirds are not out of stock living almost everywhere in the UK and after a decline between the 70s and 90s has returned to the Green List after at 26% increase between 1995 and 2008.

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