Rusty Blackbird: Medium blackbird, black overall with a dull, blue-green sheen, yellow eyes. Forages on ground of wet woodlands and fields, wades in marshes or small pools of water. Feeds on insects, caterpillars, snails, crustaceans, small fish, salamanders, fruits, grains and seeds.
Range and Habitat
Rusty Blackbird: Breeds from Alaska across northern Canada to southern Canada, northern New York, and northern New England. Spends winters from southeastern South Dakota and southern New England south to the Gulf Coast. Preferred habitats include beaver ponds, roadsides, landfills, wet meadows, and shrubby shorelines.
The Rusty Blackbird has been documented feeding on sparrows, robins, and snipe, among others.
The North American Breeding Bird Survey and Christmas Bird Count have determined that Rusty Blackbirds have dropped 85%-98% in the past 40 years.
Their song has been compared to the grating of a rusty hinge.
A group of blackbirds has many collective nouns, including a "cloud", "cluster", and "merl" of blackbirds.
The Rusty Blackbird has a large range, breeding from the New England region of the United States, through Canada, and up to Alaska. Native to the United States and Canada as well as Saint Pierre and Miquelon, this bird prefers inland wetland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at less than two million individuals, a decline of over 85% since 1966. This bird shows significant signs of population decline that necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Rusty Blackbird is Vulnerable.