Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)
Rusty blackbirds are headed south for the southeastern U.S. but along the way a few stopped into one of my favourite birding spots to refuel. It's a treat to see them as they have been suffering from a population decline. Now they are dressed in their winter plumage and - truth be told - I don't believe I would recognize them in their breeding finery, Maybe I would notice their lovely yellow eyes, though.
A large percentage of them (some say 75%) spend summer in Canada's boreal forests. They are considered a keystone species because they build sturdy nests anew each year, so sturdy that other birds such as the Solitary Sandpiper have been known to use their abandoned nests the next year.
I am connecting to Stewart M's Wild Bird Wednesday HERE