Rusty Blackbird

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Euphagus carolinus

Rusty Blackbird

The Rusty Blackbird is a medium-sized blackbird with a slender bill and medium- length tail. It is one of North America's most rapidly declining species.

Both sexes are 8.3 - 9.8 inches in length, with a wingspan of 14.6 inches and weight of 47 - 80 grams.

Adults have a pointed bill and a pale- yellow eye. They have black plumage with faint green and purple gloss but females are grayer. "Rusty" refers to the brownish winter plumage.

Breeding males are dark glossy black.

CALL: A harsh "chek." 

SONG: Consists of two or three notes, followed by a higher, rising note, like the creak of rusty hinges.

The primary food item is insects, including many aquatic insects. They will also eat small mollusks and crustaceans, small fish, and seeds and waste grain.

Strongly prefers habitats near water. Summer breeding grounds are muskeg swamps in Canada.

During migration and winter, is also generally found near wooded swamps and tree-lined rivers.

Summers throughout much of Canada and Alaska.

Winters in the eastern half of the United States.

Their nest is a bulky bowl with an outer layer of twigs, grass and lichens. Wet, rotting plant matter is also placed in the outer layer to dry and harden.

The female lays 3 - 6 blue-green to pale gray eggs, with variable amount of brown markings.




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