Common Blackbirds

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rozkidd
rozkidd's picture
Common Blackbirds

I walk regularly in the Boolarra State Forest in Gippsland and I am becoming concerned at the large number of blackbirds that I see every day.  There is very little water at the moment as dams, water holes are drying up.  I observed a group of blackbirds being aggressive to the native birds at the only dam in the area with a reasonable amount of water.  Does anyone have any suggestions on what can be done?

They would also be impacting on the food to the disadvantage of the native birds.

Woko
Woko's picture

My experience with Blackbird eradication is that it's a long-term proposition. 

Firstly, the quality of the bushland needs to be maintained at or brought to the highest possible level so that native species are given the opportunity to be highly competitive with the Blackbirds. Minimum disturbance techniques are preferred. 

Secondly, Blackirds need to be thoroughly discouraged from breeding. I've done this by frequently patrolling likely nesting places which are usually found inside quite dense shrubs or low trees. On finding a nest I destroy it by using a narrow but strong stick to vigorously break up the nest which is stoutly constructed.  

Thirdly the area in which a destroyed nest has been located needs to be frequently revisited because Blackbirds are inclined to rebuild in the spot of the destroyed nest especially if they've already produced eggs or nestlings.

If eggs are found they need to be destroyed. If nestlings are found they need to be humanely dispatched. Some people find this cruel. For me, contributing to the extinction of native species is by far the greater cruelty. 

Finally, because Blackbird eradication is a gradual process, patience & persistence are paramount. 

rozkidd
rozkidd's picture

Thanks for the valuable information, Woko, I will pass this on to the other members of Landcare who have been doing some revegetation in the area and we will come up with a plan of attack.  After I put this post on I was walking in the forest and stopped to talk to another walker.

I said I was concerned about the blackbirds and she said she thoroughly agreed with me, and that she had noticed how aggressive they are in the vicinity of her bird bath at home.  So I am not the only one noticing the numbers of blackbirds or their aggressive behaviour.

Woko
Woko's picture

Yes, it's heartening to meet people with a concern for the natural environment. Even more so is translating this concern into action to protect & restore it. Your local Landcare group is doing just this. 

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