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Rusty Blackbird Results

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Rusty Blackbird 2014 Spring Migration Blitz observations.

Rusty Blackbird 2014 Spring Migration Blitz observations.

SPRING MIGRATION BLITZ

From 1 March – 15 June 2014, 4750 birders reported 13,400 Rusty Blackbird sightings to eBird as part of the Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz. We’ll use these data from our pivotal first year to guide future Blitz efforts; currently, we’re identifying potential hotspots, areas that supported large numbers of Rusties during Spring 2014 migration.  In 2015, we will encourage birders to revisit these potential hotspots to evaluate whether Rusties use the same migratory areas each year.  Ultimately, the Spring Migration Blitz aims to identify consistent hotspots used by Rusties during migration in order to target future conservation and research efforts.

International Blitz Coordinator Judith Scarl presented the 2014 Spring Migration Blitz results at the American Ornithologists’ Union meeting in Colorado in September, 2014.  Check out her presentation at the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group’s website.

Interested in Blitzing for Blackbirds in 2015?  Learn about how to get involved at the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group’s Blitz page!

HABITAT OCCUPANCY IN THE NORTHEAST

Rusty Blackbird survey results.

Rusty Blackbird survey results, Summer 2012.

Our surveys found very little evidence of site consistency between years; of the 218 sites surveyed in 2006-7 and again in 2012, Rusty Blackbirds were detected during both time periods at only six of these sites (see map). Of the 104 Maine sites surveyed at three time periods across a decade, at only one site were Rusty Blackbirds detected during all three surveys. In addition, overall detection rates were discouragingly low.  Read more about our results in our study report.