Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rusty Blackbirds

Today six Rusty Blackbirds were observed and digiscoped on Old Connecticut River Road in Springfield, Vermont.  These were in a flock of 10+ Red-winged Blackbirds and four Common Grackles.

Rusty Blackbird is a North American species of high conservation concern.  Since the 1960s its population has declined 85 to 99%.  Causes of this trend are unknown at this time, but the scientific community suspects global climate change and habitat degradation/loss.  The 2014 Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz is a citizen science effort to engage birders in seeking out "rusties" and to submit their observations on-line.   Check out the link for details.

Male Rusty Blackbird in late basic/early alternate plumage.

Male Rusty Blackbird (left) and Red-winged Blackbird (right).

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