Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed., p. 170 (1758). Type-locality : Europe, restricted to Sweden.
Key to Subspecies.
A. Legs and feet dark brown T. m. maximus, p. 123.
B. Legs and feet yellow or orange-yellow.
a. No collar on hind neck.
a1. Head rather blacker than back T. m. simillimus, p 125.
b1. Head same colour as back.
a2.Feathers of upper parts with broad
blue-grey margins T. m. kinnisii, p. 126.
b2. Feathers of upper parts without any
pale margins T. m. bourdilloni, p. 127.
b. A distinct grey-brown collar on hind
neck T. m. nigropileus, p. 128.
c. A bold, white collar on hind neck T.m. albocinctus, p. 129.
It seems necessary to treat all these forms as merely races of our European Blackbird, Turdus merula merula; it is true that if the all black T. merula merula is compared with the white-necked T. m. albocinctus the contrast is startling but the dif¬ference is bridged over by simillimus with its darker head but no collar and nigropileus with its distinct, grey collar. In no cases do the breeding ranges of any two of these birds overlap, although the habitats of the two extreme forms maximus and albocinctus approach nearest together.
It would appear as if at some time there had been a migration movement of the Blackbird Southward, certain birds having become sedentary and acquired local differences; then at some later period there had again been a migratory movement, this time Northward, resulting in another sedentary bird with a white collar.