Female Rusty Blackbird

Everybody here in the Midwest is familiar with the Red-winged Blackbird. They are found almost everywhere along roadsides or bodies of water. The arrival of the first Red-winged Blackbirds is always a sure sign that winter comes to an end soon. This year I saw my first one March 13th. Not so known is the Rusty Blackbird. They come through here on their way to Canada, where they have their breeding grounds.

I read that this blackbird had a population decline of over 85% since 1966 (source: iBirdPro app). One reason more to be happy about seeing them again last weekend in the Green Island Wetlands. Most of the time I have seen them foraging in very shallow water or in the mud along shore.

Male Rusty Blackbird