Blackbird 1: Ditzie 0

To: "Canberra Birds" <>
Subject: Blackbird 1: Ditzie 0
From: "John Layton" <>
Date: Sun, 27 Feb 2011 13:02:35 +1100

Ditzie lives two doors down the street. She’s a charming, little short-hair Burmese puddy tat; with blue eyes and angelic face. Alas, despite her beguiling appearance, Ditzie is an inveterate  bird killer. About two year ago I responded to a fracas out front and arrived just as a guilt-ridden Ditzie scarpered and a spate of grey feathers glissandoed down. Nearby a stunned-looking adult Crested Pigeon squatted on the lawn

It took off with characteristic wing-whistle/clatter and seemed to fly quite strongly.

At 0930 today I investigated  the loud alarm calls of a Common Blackbird and saw Ditzie streaking down our long boundary fence (30 m) a male blackbird in hot pursuit, 2 m behind her and 50 cm above. The bird closed in and struck her on the rump – Wap! – I don’t know if it struck with feet or bill but the impact was palpable. Just as Ditzie reached the foot of a tall Silver Birch the bird gave her another kick in the cat’s pyjamas and she sprang onto the trunk, corkscrewing upwards. Most times when a cat ascends a tree it goes straight but Ditzie went ala treecreeper, probably to minimise further bird strikes.

The bird perched atop the fence, hopping back and forth and calling loudly. Two minutes later Ditzie abandoned her arboreal haven and hared home as the blackbird flew along behind, venting its anger but not closing to within striking distance. Last I saw, the pair was disappearing down the cul-de-sac.

Other than males fighting, this was the most violent display I’ve witnessed from a Common Blackbird in about 30 years’ observations.


John Layton.


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