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Blackbirds

Blackbirds were introduced to New Zealand by European settlers in the 1860's. They are now one of the most common bird species, often seen in parks, gardens, orchards, farmlands, scrub and forest. The males are black with an orange beak and ring around the eyes whereas the females are more of a dark brown. Great singers, they are usually seen in pairs and are distinguishable from other birds as the hop along the ground rather than walk.

Nests are built generally in the fork of a bush or shrub, and they can raise 2-3 broods a year of 3-5 eggs often in the same nest. They are very territorial birds, and the males can often be seen darting around defending their territory.

Often seen to listen for food below ground, they eat, insects, seeds, snails, spiders, worms and fruit.

Blackbirds are considered a pest as they damage fruit in vineyards and orchards, spread seeds of weeds and other notorious plants into native forests and crops, and dig up and make a mess of newly sown or watered ground.

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