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Arm the battlements—the walls have been breached

October 3, 2015


For more than a decade now we have smugly sat on the side of our hill watching the ferals invade the lowlands. Not the animals such as foxes, rabbits and cats. They seem to be everywhere and unstoppable. But the exotic birds. Down in the nearest township sparrows and the like mix it with the native birds. We have watched with dismay the advancing tide of Indian Mynas along our local roads from the direction of the big cities but somehow felt safe in the thought that the birds would stick to the open pasture lands. There has not been a sign of them in our woodland hilltop stronghold.

Then last week jumping out of the understorey next to the house was a feral of a totally unexpected type, a Blackbird. The walls have been breached; all is lost.



The Common Blackbird has the scientific name Turdus merula (somehow it seems appropriate!) – turdus being Latin for Thrush and merula Latin for blackbird. The Blackbird is a native of Europe and Asia. It was introduced to Melbourne in the late 1850s by a bird dealer. Since then the population has spread through much of south-eastern Australia.

The Blackbird is considered a pest because it competes with native birds for nesting sites and food sources and is also thought to spread weeds such as blackberry by dispersing the seed. On the upside traditionally they have been caught and used as food. A lot has been said about Indian Myna traps, not a word about Blackbird traps. Time for a Google search.

Who knows? Pies could be a common staple in our house in the near future.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lesley permalink
    October 3, 2015 8:18 am

    I have seen them drive a Red Wattle bird out of the garden. They are aggressive, and very smart. They soon learn all about any trap you use. They will go into a possum trap after berries for a while, but eventually learn to avoid them and the old male I can’t get rid of here, Blackbird that is, teaches the new ones to not go into the trap. I consider them a far worse pest than the Indian Myna.

  2. Tom permalink
    November 22, 2015 9:21 am

    They kick mulch and seedlings all over the place and make deep excavations in the vegetable beds looking for worms. I’ve had some success with carefully set traps, but there are always plenty more around. I’ve started using bird netting on the ground in the most vulnerable spots to keep them off.

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