Rusty Blackbird Surveys within the St. Marys River Complex IBA
The Kensington Conservancy is planning a series of surveys for Rusty Blackbirds within the St. Marys River Complex Important Bird Area during the last two weeks of April 2022.
Why are we surveying for Rusty Blackbirds?
The St. Marys River Complex Important Bird Area is an important migration area for many species of birds, including Rusty Blackbirds, which as on Ontario's species at risk list.
Across Canada, many Important Bird Areas (IBA) are being converted into Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA). In order for this to happen for the St. Marys River Complex IBA, a population threshold has to be reach for key species, one of which is the Rusty Blackbird. If we are able to record a certain number of Rusty Blackbirds on a single day, this will bode well for upgrading the IBA to a KBA.
Peak Rusty Blackbird migration through the St. Marys River Complex IBA is typically towards the end of April each year. The Kensington Conservancy is organizing surveys during this timeframe for Rusty Blackbirds to provide value data.
We are planning to survey for Rusty Blackbirds on the following dates:
The timing of spring bird migration changes slightly year-to-year, therefore these dates may be adjusted accordingly as the time approaches.
If you are interested in learning more about how these surveys will work, or if you would like to sign up for one, please contact The Kensington Conservancy at 705-782-2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to do if you see Rusty Blackbirds?
If you are within the St. Marys River Complex Important Bird Area during April or May and see a large number of Rusty Blackbirds, please submit your sighting to us. Please ensure that you have ruled out other similar looking blackbird species, such as Common Grackle, Red-winged Blackbird, Brewer's Blackbird, and Brown-headed Cowbird.
Learn more about Rusty Blackbirds here.