Blackbird proved as true early bird

The blackbird was today named as the nation’s early bird in a survey of more than 6,000 gardens across Ireland and Britain.

The blackbird was today named as the nation’s early bird in a survey of more than 6,000 gardens across Ireland and Britain.

Listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme were asked to record which species were first to arrive at feeding stations after dawn.

The results were taken on December 21, the shortest day of the year, and entered on the website of the British Trust for Ornithology.

On average, blackbirds arrived for their morning feed 13 minutes after sunrise, with the robin coming in three minutes later.

Next in the list were the blue tit (19.5 minutes), the song thrush (21.9 minutes), and the dunnock (22 minutes).

Organiser Mike Toms said: “We have been overwhelmed by the fantastic response we have had to this survey.

“So many people have taken the time to get up early and record what has been happening in their gardens and the results make very interesting reading.”

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