left with egg on their faces yesterday after a botched nest
The contractors had been called in by the Dunedin City
Council to remove a blackbird's nest and eggs from a Crawford
St traffic light, after it was deemed a distraction for
Council contract manager Peter Hughes said Downer was asked
to relocate the nest to a nearby tree.
However, as the nest was being removed, it disintegrated and
the contractor dropped the eggs, he said.
''The nest wasn't particularly well constructed and it all
went west,'' Mr Hughes said.
He was unsure how many eggs were broken but said it was two
When the ODT visited the site yesterday, a juvenile female
blackbird was circling above the traffic lights.
Department of Conservation ranger Graeme Loh said relocating
a nest was a solution for several bird species, but
blackbirds were ''prone to disturbance''. A blackbird nest
needed to be moved close to the original nesting location for
the mother to find it.
After a relocation, the eggs had ''hours'' to be found before
the mother ''gave up'' its search and would start building
A blackbird would not nest in the same place, if it had
previously failed, he said.
''They won't keep hammering away at something that doesn't
work,'' Mr Loh said.
Council roading maintenance engineer Peter Standring said
moving the nest would have cost ratepayers about $100.
Mr Standring said he was aware female blackbirds had
difficulty finding a relocated nest.
Last year, a blackbird nested in the same lights and
contractors shifted the nest and offspring to a nearby tree
but the chicks were ''disowned'' by the blackbird, he said.
The council had no plans to review its policy on nest
relocation but would be ''encouraging'' birds to nest
''As that one [traffic light] is generally targeted, we might
see how we can cover up that one for next year.''
The nest had to be removed, as it could distract drivers or
obscure the orange light, he said.