When: April 9-May 31
Where: Statewide (and other states), enter sightings on eBird
This is our second year of this project, in partnership with the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Rusty Blackbirds, although numerous, are declining alarmingly, putting them on the Red List of the Alaska WatchList. The causes of decline aren’t well understood, so researchers are scrambling to find out more.
Here’s where you can help, from anywhere! All you have to do is enter your bird sightings in eBird or print out this datasheet—whether you do or do not see a Rusty Blackbird. If you went out looking them but didn’t see any, that’s useful too--we want to document when Rusty Blackbirds first start appearing in Alaska and when migration seems to wind down. When you login to eBird, on the second data entry page, select “Other—Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz” under “Observation Type”.
In 2014 we had great participation from Alaskans. There were 314 checklists that counted 689 Rusty Blackbirds submitted from the state. There were counts from two national Wildlife Refuges, Tetlin and Kanuti, and from 20 communities, from Juneau to the North Slope. This year we’re hoping even more Alaskans grab their binoculars and head out to count Rusties!
- What does a Rusty Blackbird look like?
- What does a Rusty Blackbird sound like? Listen to songs and calls in the Audubon Online Bird Guide.
- As an alternative to submitting sightings online, here is a Print Data Sheet for the Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz. Please fill out one data sheet per sighting. Mail data sheets to Audubon Alaska, Rusty Blackbird Blitz, 441 5th Ave., Suite 300, Anchorage, AK 99501.
- For more information about the Blitz or if you want to participate outside of Alaska, visit the Rusty Blackbird Blitz website or Facebook page.
- For more information about participating in Alaska or eBird questions, please email Beth Peluso or call 907-276-7034.