RFI Common Blackbirds: help with distribution gaps

Subject: RFI Common Blackbirds: help with distribution gaps
From: "Michael Atzeni" <>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 22:09:55 +0800
The Common Blackbird is already a significant horticultural pest in
many fruit-growing areas of southern Australia. Having infiltrated
southern Queensland, it represents a future threat to Queensland's
fruit-growing industries too, if not contained.

>From the confirmed records so far in Queensland and northern NSW, it
would appear this species is highly dispersive and can bob up
hundreds of kilometres from the nearest population in the most
unlikely places e.g. St George, Fraser Island.

Or is this long-hopping an aberration? Is it more likely that they
have slowly but surely bred and expanded there way to these locations
over a number of undetected (or unreported) generations?  Are the
inordinate gaps in distribution simply due to a lack of observers
along the routes which they've been using? And what are those routes?

I mentioned the Queensland blackbird awareness campaign on BA earlier
this year and asked for assistance with blackbird sightings in
northern NSW and Queensland. I didn't get many responses first time
around so, with the breeding season upon us, I'm again asking for
your co-operation as this is the best time to see and hear the
breeding males.

Even if you live in NSW or southern Qld and have NOT seen blackbirds
in your town/suburb you can still help me greatly by responding in
the negative. If you can shed some light on why that might be the
case in your area and where the nearest populations are, all the

If we can collectively fill in the knowledge gaps elsewhere, then we
can have a more educated look at what's been happening in Queensland,
and where to focus the monitoring effort in future months.

Finally, are blackbirds breeding yet, particularly in the north of
their range?

Look forward to your assistance.


Michael Atzeni
Blackbird Project Leader
Toowoomba Bird Observers

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