Citizen Science – Rusty Blackbirds

Over the past years there has been an 88-98 percent drop in the population of the Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus). This lesser-known blackbird was formerly an incredibly abundant bird and this decline in population is one of the most drastic in North America.

Rusty Blackbird

Last spring, eBird tracked Rusty Blackbird populations during spring migration and found much useful information from the data.

The program was enough to realize that a more in-depth study would be successful. Birders across North America can track Rusty Blackbirds for the Rusty Blackbird Working Group through eBird during fall migration.

Rusty Blackbirds have a cool song, somewhat like a rusty door hinge. They are found in wet areas of forest or swamps but also in flooded farm fields. They can be somewhat tricky to identify, which is another reason to learn them and then report sightings if you can.

Rusty Blackbird

The more we can track the population decline of the Rusty Blackbird, the better we can manage its recovery. Citizen Science is proving to be one of the most useful tools for monitoring declining populations and finding out key information that eventually helps learn how to manage and restore key habitat.

One thought on “Citizen Science – Rusty Blackbirds

  1. I didn’t know there was such a bird as the Rusty Blackbird! It’s info like this that makes Birdfreak the authority on these and other species that we all must be aware face perils in our declining environment. Without our support and action, such species will be just photo memories in the years ahead. Thanks!

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