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2015 Rusty Blackbird Blitz

In March, volunteers across North Carolina participated in the second annual Rusty Blackbird Blitz. The Rusty Blackbird Blitz is organized by the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group which exists to understand and reverse the decline of the Rusty Blackbird. Although scientists have made huge strides in understanding Rusty Blackbirds on their breeding and wintering grounds – partly thanks to the original Rusty Blackbird Winter Blitz – surprisingly little is known about the migratory requirements and habits of this species.

The Spring Blitz challenges volunteer birders to seek out the elusive Rusty Blackbird on their northward migration from the southern United States, through the Midwest, along the East Coast, and up into Canada. The Blitzes are citizen science initiatives that depend on ordinary people visiting local sites and reporting any Rusties they see. Thanks to everyone who participated by logging Rusty sightings to eBird during spring migration!

This and other Citizen Science opportunities are highlighted on the NC Birding Trail “Birding for Science” page.

Number of US states that participated

38 States

Number of People Who Reported Rusty Sightings

4,756 Birders

Number of checklists reporting Rusty Sightings submitted to eBird

13,540 Checklists

Number of Checklists submitted under Blitz Protocol

3,527 Checklists

Number of People who Submitted Checklists Under Blitz Protocol

698 Birders

References (25)

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