[CT Birds] Rusty Blackbird in breeding/alternate plumage
shilohdad01 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 29 14:24:46 EST 2013
I just had what must be a breeding-plumaged male Rusty Blackbird under my feeders. It was mixed in with a bunch of Brown-headed Cowbirds. It was an inch or two longer than the cowbirds, far too small for a Common Grackle. The plumage was dark and somewhat glossy. The tail was flat, not keel-shaped. The eye was very pale. Flock too skittish to get pictures.
Is this too early for a Rusty to be in full alternate plumage? Sibley states Jan-Aug for breeding plumage, Aug-Mar for basic/non-breeding plumage, so there could be overlap. The only other time I have had Rusties in winter, they were all in the rusty basic plumage. What has been the experience of others on this list?
South Salem, NY (a.k.a., West Ridgefield)
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