These days the exotic Common Blackbird is often viewed as a pest, but the pioneers of early Australia were determined to ensure that Blackbirds were successfully introduced into their adopted land. Blackbirds were released dozens of times throughout south-eastern Australia, mostly in the 1860s. In Australia, though most Blackbirds are sedentary, they are capable of making long-distance movements, with some regularly crossing Bass Strait, and a few have even reached subantarctic islands. Such movements have allowed the species to extend its distribution.
The range of the Common Blackbird in Australia has expanded steadily over the years. At the western edge of its range, in South Australia, the species has colonised the Eyre Peninsula. It was first recorded at Port Lincoln in 1967, and by the early 1980s, this was the only site on the southern Eyre Peninsula where they occurred, but they now dig up garden beds and eat fruit all over the Peninsula, as far west as Ceduna. At the northern edge of the species' range, Blackbirds have spread north from New South Wales, spilling across the border into Queensland, where they can be seen on the outskirts of Toowoomba on the Darling Downs.
The accompanying map shows how widespread the Common Blackbird is in south-eastern Australia, extending west across the Eyre Peninsula, and north to Toowoomba; where will it expand to next?
If you want to discover more information about this species or any other birds that occur in Australia, just take a little time to explore the Birdata website, or visit the BirdLife Australia website at www.birdlife.org.au . You never know what you might find.