RFI Common Blackbirds: help with distribution gaps

To: Michael Atzeni <>, <>
Subject: RFI Common Blackbirds: help with distribution gaps
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Sat, 30 Aug 2008 11:07:42 +1000
>From "Birds of Lord Howe island" (1991) written and published by Ian Hutton;
at page 113:

    "The Blackbird is a fairly recent arrival on Lord Howe island ... They
are mainly ground feeders - energetically foraging for fruits, berries,
spiders and insects, even cockroaches.

    "Blackbirds were introduced into New Zealand and Australia from Great
Britain in the 1850s, and were first reported on Lord Howe island by Max
Nicholls in 1953.  Because this species was rare on the New South Wales
coast at this time, it is assumed to have arrived from new Zealand."

A very "long hop" indeed; but still possibly an aberration?

As distinct from Zosterops (Silver-eyes or White-eyes) which have 'hopped'
to many (most?) south-western Pacific islands.  But they did it over an
unknown, but very lengthy period - long enough ago for speciation to occur.



> From: "Michael Atzeni" <>
> Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2008 22:09:55 +0800
> To: 
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] RFI Common Blackbirds: help with distribution gaps
> 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?

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