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Blackbird

Variant names:
Blackish Crow, Cashbird, Eastern Ebony Dogbird

Scientific name:
Pesticus domesticus

Distinguishing characteristics:
Mostly black feathers; harsh voice; often accompanied by calamity, bad luck, or a painful death.

Song:
SquAWK, SquAAAAAAWK

Fun facts:

  • Each year, thousands of Blackbirds are killed by vehicles on interstate highways. Other Blackbirds will often gather at the site, not to mourn, but to eat their unfortunate compatriot. This leads to additional deaths.

  • Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" famously refers to a "black plume" and "this ebony bird beguiling." He was referring to a Blackbird, of course, but somehow "Quoth the Blackbird, 'Nevermore.'" didn't have quite the impact he wanted.

  • Some consideration was given to naming this bird the "Black-spotted Bird" as it is not uniformly black. Instead, its black color consists of millions of tiny black spots packed so closely together as to be indistinquishable except with the help of a very powerful microscope and a vivid imagination.

  • Emily Dickinson wrote, and discarded, a poem titled "The Blackbird of Happiness."
 

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