30th Birthday Dinner

Date posted: 06-Sep-2018

Please join us in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the formation of the Suppo..

2019 Calendars now available

Date posted: 05-Sep-2018

The new 2019 calendars are now available and this year's is better than ever! Th..

Winners of kokako photo competition

Date posted: 02-Sep-2018

The stunning winning photographs from those submitted to the competition as part..

Kokako Celebration

Date posted: 21-Jul-2018

(https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-great-kokako-story-celebrating-21-years-..

Kokako Photographic Competition

Date posted: 20-Jul-2018

KĊŒKAKO PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPETITION Celebrating 21 years on Tiritiri Matangi To ce..

New monitoring reports published

Date posted: 19-Jul-2018

Reports on monitoring studies carried out over the past year have now been poste..

2018 Concert coming up soon

Date posted: 15-Feb-2018

Our 2018 concert will feature an afternoon of light classics and jazz courtesy of the Auckland Ph..

Wetapunga talk coming soon

Date posted: 05-Feb-2018

For the Social on 19 March the speaker will be Ben Goodwin of Auckland Zoo, who will talk about t..

Rat caught and now takahe released from pens

Date posted: 28-Jan-2018

Thankfully DOC staff Andre de Graaf and Polly Hall and their assistants have trapped the rat whic..

Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

Blackbird

Scientific name:

 Turdus merula

 

 

Conservation status

 Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

 Widespread and abundant 

Size:

 25cm, 90g 

Lifespan:

 15 years possibly

Breeding:

 August - January

Diet:

 Mixture of invertebrates and fruits


Male blackbirdIntroduced from Europe in the 1860s and 1870s and now considered the most widespread species within New Zealand, especially in gardens, parks, orchards, farmlands, scrub and forest.

The male blackbird is black with a bright orange bill; the female is dark brown with a pale throat and smudgy mottled breast with a dull orange and brown bill. The song is a loud, clear melodious warble. The alarm call is a persistent sharp 'chink – chink'.

Usually they breed from late August to early January and 2–3 broods a year are raised, sometimes in the same nest.  A substantial nest is built of twigs, grass, roots and moss, fortified with mud and roughly lined with grass and leaf skeletons. The eggs, 2–6 per clutch, are bluish green to greenish brown, freckled with reddish brown.  The female incubates for 13–14 days and both parents feed the chicks which fledge at 13–15 days.

Blackbirds feed mainly on the ground and eat insects, spiders and a wide variety of fruits from both native podocarps and shrubs and introduced shrubs and weeds. They can cause damage to orchards and spread weed seeds into native forests and crops, but they also help to disperse the seeds of fleshy–fruited understorey plants in native forests.

Learn more about blackbirds by visiting New Zealand Birds Online.

Female blackbird














Photography by: Dr Kerry Rodgers © (Male - top right; female - bottom left)

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G
The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.