There’s a terrible racket coming from a bush nearby in the town centre. It sounds like a Blackbird is going absolutely out of its mind. Eventually I realise what’s going on when I see a domestic cat prowling. There must be fledgelings in there and the volume of the adults’ alarm calls isn’t diminishing.

I wander towards the cat and it slinks off. Then some semblance of calm resumes. Eventually, the male lands on the walls of the river. The grey lichen-splattered rocks are a perfect platform for such a handsome bird.

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’d like to personally congratulate female blackbirds for having such exquisite taste in male Blackbirds.

They are perhaps not the first example of the power of sexual selection in evolution, but they are one of my favourites. If you’re going to compromise on your personal safety and increase your visibility to predators, to make yourself more attractive to females, then this is certainly one stylish way of doing it:

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

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