Manitoba Bird Bird Atlas: Species At Risk

Rusty Blackbird

Early Breeding and Last Migration Dates

South: Regions 1 to 8 Central: Regions 9 to 12 North: Regions 13 and 14
Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding
? May-11 ? ? May-16 ? May-25 Jun-06 Jul-06

Breeding Evidence

Rusty Blackbird is a very early returning migrant and is frequently observed in March and April well south of their breeding grounds. Care is required in these situations not to confuse them with the very similar but later arriving Brewer’s Blackbird and, of course, not to enter records of migrant flocks in non-breeding habitat into the atlas.

Habitat

Breeding Evidence Map

Rusty Blackbirds nest in the boreal forest and favour the shores of wetlands such as slow-moving streams, peat bogs, marshes, swamps, beaver ponds, and pasture edges. In wooded areas, Rusty Blackbirds only rarely enter the forest interior.

In Manitoba, the main nesting range is in treed muskeg, rarely south of the 55th parallel. In the northwest, they breed for the most part in a 150-kilometer wide belt south of the treeline. In southeastern and central Manitoba, they have been observed at Katimik Lake (east of Chemawawin), Duck Mountains, Grass River, and Cranberry Portage. They are quite common in much of northern Manitoba, especially the Hudson Bay Lowlands, but appear uncommon and patchily distributed in the southern boreal forest.

-from COSEWIC and The Birds of Manitoba (p. 378)