Environment

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The birds of the Torre del Codina, Chapter 9. The thrushes: The blackbird and the thrush

> Écoutez le chant du merle noir (Turdus merula) :

The blackbird, like the thrush or the thrush, occupies that place reserved for the species of birds, which everyone knows and which few mention. The thrushfamily of birds have always been appreciated for their ability to sing. Some of America’s “thrushes” are considered the best songbirds in the world.The beauty of its song is one of the characteristics that indicates its belonging to the order of passerines, as well as the canary, the goldfinch or the passerine.

These speciesare considered hunting, and can be hunted with a firearm. In our country, the hunting of the common thrush and the red-winged thrush and the thrush is still very much alive. In the past, in our region, thrushes were hunted at night in the game. Needless to say, this was an illegal hunting system (it has always been forbidden to hunt at night), and it consisted of observing the place where thrushes lay (sleeping) and with a powerful light. sulfur, which dazzled and paralyzed the birds, allowed them to be caught with their hands and put in sacks to kill, collapse, clean and eat them. I remember hearing as a young man that in Tàrrega, a group of respectable citizens organized a game of thrushes in the game and, while they were already loading the thrush sacks, they were caught by the Civil Guard patrol that had observed everything. Needless to say, the thing ended in nothing.

 

Blackbird flying on the roof of the Torre del Codina.
Blackbird flying on the roof of the Torre del Codina.

 

The blackbird is perhaps the bird best known for its great ability to adapt to urban environments. It is a striking, gossiping and songbird, often fighting with its congeners or other species that approach its nest. According to popular tradition, the blackbird, when it sings, says: “gira’t i tomba’t, – gira’t i jeu”, as it is a restless bird that never stops and moves gracefully and agile, both on the ground and in the air. The repertoire of blackbird songs, with their melodic variations, is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. It is a morning and late bird, singing both at dawn and dusk, with a loud, sonorous sound. Josep Maria de Sagarra in his poem “Fidelitat” mentions it like this:

Es sentirien veus de noies en el pont;

la merla cantaria ran de la pau nocturna.

Cauria de mos ulls l’anguniada espurna

i el remoreig de fulles em tornaria el son.

 

Merla eats the seu niu at the Torre del Codina.
Merla eats the seu niu at the Torre del Codina.

 

Thrush looking for food near the Torre del Codina pond.
Thrush looking for food near the Torre del Codina pond.

 

The common thrush and the red-winged thrush are also known as the blackbird, for their particular and musical singing. Like other thrushes, in some places it is resident all year round and in others it is winter migratory. Unlike the blackbird, it is a bird that suffers more from changes in farming practices, hunting and being an easy prey for cats and birds of prey. He loves to eat olives and with his poetic wisdom Josep Carner sang it like this:

“Só l’ocell gentil i franc

De llom gris i ventre blanc

Amb clapetes deixades i fosquetes.

 

En el cant no sóc primer,

Dir la veritat no em dol.

Però diu el rossinyol

Que sóc el segon potser.

I es plau tant a ma cantera

L’olivera,

Que en sol dir:

-Vols olives? De primera:

Canta noi, noi, i resta ací;

I en els dies que se’n van,

Fes panxeta i dóna’m cant.”

> Listen to the song of the Thrush (Turdus philomenos):

 

The birds of the Torre del Codina, Chapter 9. The thrushes: The blackbird, the thrush and the thrush
Photo of a beautiful thrush on top of an almond tree in the Torre del Codina.

 

Thrushis my favorite and most scarce thrush. I especially like its full-bodied, larger-than-thrush appearance, as well as its more showy and clear plumage. Like the rest of the thrushes, his flute singing is a marvel that gives the ear.

> Listen to the song of the Thrush (Turdus viscivorus):

 

Learning from turtles will make us richer in our knowledge of our environment.

 

Jaume Ramon Solé.

Credits: Images owned by Jaume Ramon Solé – La Torre del Codina.

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