Rusty Blackbird

In celebration of Prospect Park’s 150 years of habitat: a uncommon Rusty Blackbird.

Backyard and Beyond

Euphagus carolinusA male Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) was working its way through a goopy edge of the Lower Pool in Prospect Park.Euphagus carolinusIt was tossing wet leaves around like a stevedore and plucking the goodness out of half-drowned Sweetgum balls.Euphagus carolinusGorgeous patterning here in the non-breeding plumage. Bright shadow seems to favor him more than direct sunlight: Euphagus carolinusRusty Blackbirds are a species in trouble, with “chronic long-term and acute short-term population declines” according to the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group, formed to try to get a handle on the issues involved. This page talks about the reasons numbers have dropped so precipitously, including habitat destruction in the southeast and climate change in the boreal north.

This shallow edge of the Pool, leaf-littered as all get-out, is akin to the wet bottomlands the species favors. Keep the “mess”! Also, the fence, since it keeps out the illicitly unleashed dogs running…

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