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Rusty Blackbird Blitz – Go, Connecticut!

Posted on Mar 19, 2015

The Rusties are coming! Rusty Blackbirds are moving northward from their southeastern U.S. wintering grounds, and they are headed towards Connecticut, so get ready to go out and start searching! The Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz officially opens in Connecticut now, and we encourage all birders to participate. Many of you have already done so, and some Rusty Blackbirds have been here despite the historically cold conditions. For others who may enjoy more spring birding soon helping out is easy – bird as you normally do and search especially carefully for Rusty Blackbirds, and report your results to eBird under the “Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz” survey type. Or, visit one of our Rusty Blackbird Areas of Interest (visit our interactive map at http://rustyblackbird.org/outreach/migration-blitz/2015-areas-of-interest/) to help us assess consistency of migratory timing and habitat use during spring migration.

For more information on Blitz objectives, along with Rusty Blackbird identification tips, data collection instructions, and data reporting information, you can find additional resources at http://rustyblackbird.org/outreach/migration-blitz/.  We hope you’ll “get Rusty” with us to help conserve this elusive and vulnerable songbird!

Please keep the observations coming as often as possible. I cannot underscore how important it is we get as many Rusty Blackbird checklists submitted under the “Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz” survey type into eBird to help save this species. This is active conservation, live from your backyard or favorite patch, for a bird that needs it as much as any in North America. All we need are some of your sightings and your time. Thank you!

Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) feeding on seed in snow-078

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator
Connecticut Coordinator, RUBL Spring Migration Blitz