Blackbird Blitz

rusty blackbird

This time of year, male rusty blackbirds appear mostly blackish with some rusty fringes.

Scientists need your help! Here’s an easy way you can make a difference for wildlife: just go outside and count birds.

This weekend marks the beginning of the Rusty Blackbird Blitz, a winter survey created by the Rusty Blackbird Working Group. The idea is to find and count as many rusty blackbirds as possible and submit your findings online. The data collected will go a long way to help this increasingly rare bird.

“Blackbirds have been in the news a lot lately because of the 5,000 birds that died in Arkansas after being frightened from their roost by nighttime fireworks,” says eBird leader Brian Sullivan. “But the sad truth is that birds of all species are dying by the hundreds of thousands every day. Some die from collisions with man-made structures, and many species simply start fading away because the habitat they need has been lost to development. The Rusty Blackbird is a prime example.”

“The sad truth is that birds of all species are dying by the hundreds of thousands every day.”

Rusty blackbird numbers have nose-dived by as much as 88-98% over the last few decades. The once-abundant rusty blackbird is rapidly disappearing before our eyes. Your observations can help save this species by providing scientists with critical information about what these birds need not only to survive, but to once again thrive.

The Blitz runs from January 29 to February 13. To learn how to participate and for information on rusty blackbirds visit the eBird website.

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