Merel is a Dutch word that serves as the name for a well-known species of bird, the European blackbird (Turdus merula). The European blackbird is a common passerine bird that belongs to the thrush family. It is distinguished by its glossy black plumage and yellow eye-ring among males, while the female has a dark brown color, and both genders have an orangey-yellow bill. The European blackbird can be found in various habitats across Europe, such as woodlands, gardens, and urban areas.
The merel is highly recognized for its distinctive and melodious song, which consists of a range of beautiful whistles and musical phrases. This tuneful singing is most prominent during the breeding season in spring and early summer, as the male blackbird uses it to attract mates and establish territories.
Although merel predominantly feeds on invertebrates such as earthworms, insects, and spiders, it also consumes fruits and berries. Its foraging behavior involves searching for food on the ground, usually in leaf litter or lawns. Additionally, merels are known for their unique method of finding food by using their beaks to flip over leaves, exposing hidden creatures lurking underneath.
The merel's charming appearance, enchanting song, and adaptability to both natural and urban landscapes make it a beloved and familiar sight in many European countries. Its musical contributions to the outdoors serve as a harmonious reminder of the beauty of nature.