Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

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-..

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.