In Australia, the Common Blackbird is often viewed as a pest, but the early pioneers were determined to ensure that Blackbirds were successfully introduced into their adopted land. Blackbirds were released dozens of times throughout south-eastern Australia, mostly in the 1860s. Though most Blackbirds are sedentary in Australia, their range has expanded and they are capable of making long-distance movements, with some regularly crossing the Bass Strait; a few have even reached subantarctic islands!
The male is the ‘black’ bird, with deep orange to yellow bill, a narrow yellow eye-ring and dark legs. The female is a brown bird, with some streaks or mottling, and has a dark bill and legs. Immature birds are similar to the female with lighter underparts. Their average size is 27cm and their average weight is 89 grams.
A repeated ‘tchook’ call and a melodious, warbling song. Bird call recorded by: Fred Van Gessel
The Common Blackbird, was originally confined to Melbourne and Adelaide. It has gradually expanded its range throughout south-eastern Australia, both on the coast and inland, as far north as southern Queensland, and including Tasmania and the Bass Strait islands.
The Common Blackbird is most often found in urban areas and surrounding localities but has successfully moved into bushland habitats. It is often seen in orchards, vineyards and gardens, as well as along roadsides and in parks.
The Common Blackbird can be a pest in orchards, parks and gardens, being rather destructive of ground vegetation, particularly backyard vegetable patches.
The Common Blackbird eats insects, earthworms, snails, spiders and a range of seeds and fruit. It mainly forages on the ground, probing and scratching at leaf litter, lawns and soil.
The Common Blackbird builds a cup-shaped nest of dried grass, bound with mud, and lined with fine grasses. It is usually placed in a tree, shrub or low bush, but they will also use tree hollows. Their clutch size is 3 to 5 eggs (usually 4 eggs) with an incubation period of 14 days and a nestling period of 14 days. Breeding season is from September to January.