Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Look Who We Saw: Rusty Blackbirds!

Don't mind our poor pictures...just be excited about the Rusty Blackbirds! We saw a handful at Gleason, a Morrow County Park District property that will open this spring. (If you want to volunteer with us to help get this park open and assist with other parks, let us know!)

"It’s probably North America’s least-known blackbird, and the one most in need of attention. Rusty Blackbirds breed in wet woodlands across the boreal forests of northern North America and winter largely in the southeastern U.S. Breeding males are glossy black; breeding females are a silvery, charcoal gray. During winter, both sexes are extensively rusty, but they lose this coloration during late winter and spring migration. Both sexes have bright yellow eyes.
Sadly, Rusty Blackbirds have the distinction of being one of the most sharply declining songbirds in North America. An estimated 85 percent to 95 percent of the population has been lost in the last half-century. Scientists are unsure why, and they’ve formed an International Rusty Blackbird Working Group to work on the mystery.
To solve it, they need information on where these birds are—and that’s where you can help. The Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz is an organized effort to get birders to go out during March through mid-June to search for the species. Each state, province, and territory in the species’ range has been assigned a specific timeframe to search—Alabamans start on March 1; Alaskans get going in late April—so that the results can be compiled to produce an overall picture of Rusty Blackbird migration. The goal is to understand migration routes and to identify key migration hotspots that may be important to conserve.


  1. I really hope I see one this spring! It would be a new lifer for me!.

  2. Hi J & S.... Love your blog set up, and one of my very favorite birds on your header!! : )
    Good for you to have seen the Rusty Blackbird!!
    I have read this article about these bird on my Facebook follow of the CLO. !! I do the bird count and observations on eBird to!!


  3. Aren't they handsome! Wonder if they come our way? I don't believe I've ever seen one.

    Gardening season has begun for ya'll too! I've got to get a set of lights to use on the new shelves and then we'll be in good shape. Seeds have arrived and we're getting ready for sure. Spring will spring eventually! Be well, Jennifer and Steve! ~Vonnie


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