On Dec 6, 2012, RosinaBloom from Waihi New Zealand wrote:
The Blackbird, which was introduced to New Zealand in the 1860's, lives in gardens, orchards, scrub and native forest, usually close to cover. The nest - normally built by the female alone, and taking about eight days to build - is a cup-like structure of twigs, moss, dry grass and roots, bound together with mud and humus, and lined with dry grass and leaves. Two or three bluish green and brown blotched eggs are laid between late August and late December. Incubation - usually by the female alone - begins before all eggs are laid, and takes 13 or 14 days. Both parents feed the young which leave the nest about 14 days after hatching. Between 14 and 30 per cent of eggs survive to become fledged young. The Blackbird eats a wide variety of wild and cultivated fruits. In its search for insects, it flicks aside leaves and other debris with its bill. When hunting earthworms, it usually hops a short distance and then remains motionless. Worms, when found are quickly seized, pulled from the ground and eaten. Blackbirds are named more frequently than any other bird by orchardists for damaging a wide variety of fruit, and their spreading of seeds such as blackberry, boxhorn, barberry and elderberry creates a minor nuisance on farmland. Although Blackbirds eat insects such as grassgrub, it is unlikely that they take enough to be an effective control. Banding shows that Blackbirds rarely go more than a few kilometres from where they hatch. The yellow to orange bill and yellow eye-ring are the only touches of colour on the male Blackbird, which is otherwise all black. The female is dark brown and more blackish on the rump and tail. The bill is brown with irregular areas of dull orange. The male's song is loud, clear and mellow, with notes running into each other. Alarm notes range from persistant 'clacking' to loud shrill rattle when disturbed. Like the male the female also makes a thin drawn out reedy tsee sound.