Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rusty Blackbird

Several Rusty Blackbirds at the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge last Friday were new for my year bird list.  According to Cornell University, the "Rusty Blackbird is one of North America’s most rapidly declining species. The population has plunged an estimated 85-99 percent over the past forty years and scientists are completely puzzled as to what is the cause." Avery (1995), however, indicates that the situation may not be so clear. He writes, "because of its remote breeding habitat, inconspicuous behavior, and lack of economic impact, this species has received little study, and its population status and trends remain poorly known." Rusty Blackbirds breed in the relatively inaccessible far north. Winter birds are often difficult to identify and can be hidden in mixed blackbird flocks, where they are much less common than their flock-mates. The Rusty Blackbird photograph in this post was taken several years ago in South Dakota.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite species! The colors are amazing when you see one up close.