[CT Birds] Thoughts on Winter Blackbirds

james.bair at snet.net james.bair at snet.net
Sat Jan 14 14:01:51 EST 2012

When I was at East Shore Park in New Haven this morning (1/14) there were a couple of large flocks of Starlings. In one flock there was a blackbird. At first it looked like a Red-Winged Blackbird when I saw the silhouette and size, but it had no red wing patches, and it did have a purplish sheen. Since this is Connecticut, I am inclined to say it was a Rusty Blackbird. However, it was the lone blackbird in a flock of Starlings feeding on the ground in a park. That is more typical behavior of a Brewer’s Blackbird than a Rusty, which tends to flock with other Rusties and likes swamps and trees. The flock took off, and I could not relocate the bird to take a closer look. It might be a little like looking for a needle in a haystack to relocate among all the Starlings there. I recall years ago a well-respected (and well-traveled) Connecticut birder told me he was sure he had a Brewer’s on a Christmas Count, but he was reluctant to report it because he thought it would never be accepted. I had similar thoughts on a bird I saw at Milford Point a couple of years ago (it was at a feeder with Cowbirds). Now if there were a female...

Jim Bair

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