Thursday, February 5, 2015

Upcoming Rusty Blackbird blitz 3/1

read on the need to count from NYSBIRDS  Listserve

NYSBIRDS-L Digest for Tuesday, February 03, 2015.

1. 2015 Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz


Subject: 2015 Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz
From: Derek Rogers <>
Date: Tue, 3 Feb 2015 18:51:23 -0500
X-Message-Number: 1

Dear New York Birders,

With less than one month until kickoff we wanted to welcome everyone back to the 
Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz. We have been gearing up and planning for 
the 2015 season, the second year of a 3-year study headed up by the 
International Rusty Blackbird Working Group (IRBWG). Through a partnership with 
eBird, the Working Group seeks to collect as much data and information as 
possible in an effort to develop conservation strategies and management programs 
aimed at reversing the trend in the dramatic population decline of Rusty 
Blackbirds. Based on available data we know that the Rusty Blackbird’s 
population has declined at an alarming 85-99% in the past 40 years. To learn 
more about the Working Group and it’s purpose please check out this link:

So once again we are seeking your help! First, a huge thanks to all of last 
years participants who helped exceed the programs expectations. New York 
observers submitted 1696 checklists, a 46% increase in the number of checklists 
containing Rusty Blackbird sightings since 2013 (pre-blitz era). 

The target blitz period for New York State is March 1 - April 31. During this 
time period we are encouraging birders to head out and search for Rusty 
Blackbirds and to submit their data through eBird using the “Rusty Blackbird 
Spring Migration Blitz” protocol. This drop down will be available in eBird on 
March 1st and should be used whenever you are searching for Rusty Blackbirds, 
even if you don’t find any. Researchers are interested in both presence and 
absence of the species. Based on last years data, the researchers at IRBWG have 
developed an Areas of Interest Map. This map contains priority locations that 
should be surveyed in addition to your search efforts. We encourage everyone to 
check out this map and be sure to visit these sites during the blitz window:

There are often many excellent questions raised by blitz participants and as a 
result a Frequently Asked Questions page was developed on the 

Also, social media users should follow the blitz Facebook page at: contains a tremendous amount of information but we understand 
that there are always going to be questions. For this reason New York State has 
three Blitz Coordinators that are available to help answer questions and to get 
interested folks started on the blitz. Again, we encourage folks to check out 
the website but please do not hesitate to contact any of the coordinators listed 
below. Thank you again for helping to make the blitz successful and we look 
forward to another great season!!


Derek Rogers ( - Long Island Blitz Coorindator
Mike Shanley ( - NYC/Staten Island Blitz Coordinator
Will Raup ( - Upstate NY Blitz Coordinator