International Rusty Blackbird Working Group Meetings

Download presentations from our four Working Group meetings, or browse titles to see research and conservation questions.

August 2016

During August 15-16 held our biannual Rusty Blackbird Workshop at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.  Click here for the meeting agenda or scroll down to see PDFs of slides and videos of presentations.

At this meeting, the steering committee prioritized our research priorities and conservation actions for the next two years.  You may view a summary PDF here.



A decade of Rusty Blackbird research: what we have learned so far |PDF|
Pam Sinclair (Canadian Wildlife Service), Luke L. Powell (SMBC)

To Move or Not to Move: Site fidelity and dispersal in the Rusty Blackbird
Carol Foss, Patti Wohner (New Hampshire Audubon)|PDF|

Breeding habitat and vocal behavior of Rusty Blackbird in Nova Scotia|PDF|video
Cindy Staicer (Dalhousie University)

Breeding ecology of Rusty Blackbird in northern Alberta|PDF|video
Erin Bayne (University of Alberta)

Migratory connectivity of Rusty Blackbird populations:  stable isotopes, geolocators and archival tags|PDF|video
Luke L. Powell (Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center), Jim Johnson (USFWS Anchorage)

Bird blow flies: benign blood-suckers or RUBL range retraction rascals?|PDF|video
Charlotte Harding, Carol Foss (New Hampshire Audubon)

Migration stopover ecology of Rusty Blackbird in Ohio|PDF|video
James Wright, Chris Tonra (Ohio State University)

The Rusty Blackbird Blitz: citizen science results|PDF|video1,video2
Brian Evans (Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center)

Full annual cycle population model for Rusty Blackbird|PDF|video
Clark Rushing (Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center)

Migratory connectivity using SNP/DNA: Yellow Warbler and Willow Flycatcher|PDF|video
Rachael Bay (University of California)

September 2014

Recent advances in Rusty Blackbird Research: A Symposium Honoring the Memory of Russell S. Greenberg. AOU/COS/SCO Joint Meeting, Estes Park, Colorado


Powell – An Introduction to the Rusty Blackbird Symposium: Building on the Foundation Built by Russ Greenberg

Westwood & Staicer – Habitat Associations of the Rusty Blackbird in Nova Scotia, and Opportunities for Conservation within a Multi-Species Suite

Luepold, Hodgman, McNulty, Cohen, & Foss – A Multi-Scale Analysis of Rusty Blackbird Nest Survival and Nest Predators in New England

Wohner, Foss, Greenberg, & Cooper – Rusty Blackbird Survivorship and Habitat Selection During the Postfledging Period

Matsuoka, Tessler, Greenberg, Shaw, Harding-Scurr, Loomis, Cooper, & Hajdukovich – Identifying Demographic Deficits among Rusty Blackbird Breeding in Alaska: Clues to Understanding Population Decline?

Scarl, Foss, Demarest, Heyden, Sinclair – Mobilizing Two Countries for Conservation: Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration

Evans, Powell, & Greenberg – Assessing the Distribution of Wintering Rusty Blackbird Populations Using Citizen Scientist Generated Data

Borchert & Stouffer – Site-Specific Habitat and Landscape Associations of Rusty Blackbirds Wintering in Louisiana

Tessler, Johnson, Matsuoka, Greenberg, Foss, Hobson, Wohner, & DiCicco – Investigating Migration Patterns of the Rusty Blackbird Using Light-Level Geolocators and Stable Isotopes


October 2012

Rusty Blackbird Working Group Workshop, Plymouth, MA


Barnard – Rates of Haematozoa Infections Among Wintering Rusty Blackbirds

DeLeon – Habitat Associations and Flock Characteristics of Rusty Blackbirds Wintering in Louisiana

Demarest – Overview of Federal Legal & Protected Status of RUBL

Edmonds et al.- Understanding Mercury in Rusty Blackbirds

Greenberg – The Hot Spots Blitz

Heyden & Tessler – Updates on Federal and State policies and statuses for the Rusty Blackbird in the U.S.

Hobson- An update on ongoing isotopic studies of Rusty Blackbirds

Foss- Post-breeding Movements of Rusty Blackbirds in Northern New Hampshire

Foss- Implications of Spruce-fir Management for Rusty Blackbird Habitat Use in the Acadian Forest

Foss & Hodgman – Northeast Rusty Blackbird Conservation Initiative- Tentative Steps in the Face of Uncertainty

Newell et al.- Landscape Use of Post-breeding Rusty Blackbirds in Northern New Hampshire

McCormack- Occupancy of Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus) in the Adirondack Region of New York State

Powell et al. – Competition between Rusty Blackbirds and other icterids in northern New England

Powell et al. – Habitat occupancy of Rusty Blackbirds in Northern New England

Tessler et al. – Productivity and survival of the Rusty Blackbird in Alaska

Tessler et al.  – Seasonal migrations routes of Rusty Blackbirds breeding in anchorage, Alaska: results from a pilot geolocator study


Foss et al. – Evidence for Double-brooding by Rusty Blackbirds

Jones & Foss – Rusty Blackbirds on the Move



Sinclair et al. – Age Determination in Rusty Blackbirds


October 2008


Barnard & Mettke-Hofmann – Blood parasites in Rusty Blackbirds overwintering in Mississippi and Arkansas

Blancher et al. – Long-term decline and short term crash of the once abundance Rusty Blackbird

Deming et al.- A plan for monitoring Rusty Blackbird breeding populations in the northeastern U.S.

Greenberg et al. – Current management of forested wetlands and other water impoundments vs. winter habitat requirements of Rusty Blackbirds

Jones – Wetland Management in the Atlantic Coastal Plain

Matsuoka et al. – What we know from the breeding grounds

Mettk-Hofmann et al. – What do we know about the winter ecology of Rusty Blackbirds

Savard et al. – Evidence of a five-year population cycle in Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus)

Sinclair- Rusty Blackbird- Moult and Aging Sullivan- Summary of Rusty Blackbird data in eBird


January 2008

Atlantic Coast Joint Venture – The Decline and Future Recovery of the Rusty Blackbird: A Workshop

Rusty Blackbirds: A really long-term decline?

Avery and Barra s- Blackbird management and research: Historical approaches and current activities

Dias – Reliable locations of significant Rusty Blackbird flocks in South Carolina

Luscier – Presence/absence surveys for estimating occupancy as a system state variable for wintering Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus)

Mettke-Hoffman, Hamel, and Greenberg – Winter Ecology of the Rusty Blackbird in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Powell et a l- Habitat Use and Reproductive Ecology of Rusty Blackbirds in New England and Alaska

Schweitzer – Managed wetland impoundments: history, distribution, management strategies for wildlife


April 2007


Barras and Avery – USDA Wildlife Services Blackbird Management and Research: Historical Approaches and Current Activities

Blancher- Rusty Blackbird Trends and Population Size based on the Breeding Bird Survey and Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas

Corcoran – Effects of climate change on boreal wetlands (notes available)

Demarest – Rusty Blackbird status

Evers – Mercury as a threat to the Rusty Blackbird: What do we know and where are we going?

Franson – Poisonings diagnosed in blackbirds at the National Wildlife Health Center

Greenberg – Rusty Blackbirds: A really long-term decline?

Hamel and Ozdenerol – Evaluation of dynamics of Rusty Blackbird nonbreeding range using Spatial Filtering

Hobson – Current and Historical RUBL Status: Canada

Hobson – Rusty Blackbird connectivity

Jankowski – Disease and mortality monitoring of Rusty Blackbirds

Leninger – Historical trends in wetlands: loss and efforts to intervene

Leppold et al – Boreal bird communities at migration banding stations: Banding as a means for effective monitoring

Luscier – Habitat use of wintering Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus)

Luscier- Presence/absence surveys for estimating occupancy as a system state variable for wintering Rusty Blackbirds (Euphagus carolinus)

Mack- Threats to boreal wetlands, and duck population trends

Matsuoka- An Alaska Perspective

Mettke-Hofmann et al- Winter Ecology of the Rusty Blackbird in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Meyers- Rusty Blackbirds on the Copper River Delta

Niven and Greenberg- CBC Analysis: Applying 100 years of Citizen Science to understand the decline of the Rusty Blackbird

Powell- Population Trends and Distribution of Rusty Blackbirds in the Northeast

Powell- Rusty Blackbird survey techniques in the Northeast

Powell- Rusty Habitat Association in Maine

Savard et al- Evidence of a four-year population cycle for the Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)

Shaw and Corcoran- Breeding ecology and habitat affinities of an imperiled species, the Rusty Blackbird: Preliminary results

Sinclair- Breeding Habitats in the Yukon

Sinclair- Rusty Blackbird: Options for Monitoring



Barnard- Blood Parasites of Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) Sampled Winter 2006 in Mississippi

Barnard- Major Types of Avian Blood Parasites



Hannah, K. C. (2005). Species of concern: Rust Blackbird (Euphagus carolensis). Summary of ecology, abundance, and population trends in North America. In AK poster.ppt