It is bright, airy, warm, sheltered from the wind and
gets afternoon sun.
Sounds like the perfect home.
But a traffic light on one of Dunedin's busiest streets also
comes with drawbacks - constant heavy traffic, flickering
lights and the potential to be moved on for safety reasons.
Nevertheless, a hardy Dunedin blackbird chose to make a
Crawford St light's cowl its home while raising its young.
Department of Conservation ranger Graeme Loh said it was not
unusual for birds such as sparrows, rock pigeons, swallows
and dunnocks to nest in urban places, especially on roofs or
other nooks and crannies in buildings.
''They're worried about rats. The top of a pole is very
Dr Yolanda van Heezik, who specialises in urban biodiversity,
said blackbirds were among the bird species which had better
adapted to cities.
''They're very tolerant of the modifications to their
environment as part of the urban system. But ... this is
The challenge would be whether the Crawford St bird could
successfully raise her chicks, as they typically did not have
much success in urban environments, given they fed on
invertebrates, Dr van Heezik said.
Dunedin City Council contract manager Peter Hughes said it
was the first time he had heard of a bird nesting in a
Dunedin traffic light.
The bird, however, would need to be removed, as it could
cause an accident by distracting a driver or obscuring the
view of the orange light.