Rusty Blackbird (first winter male)
Family: (Icteridae) Blackbirds and Orioles
Preferred Habitat: Swampy woodlands.
Notes: Rusty Blackbirds are an increasingly rare member of the blackbird family. Population numbers appear to be in steep decline. They breed in the wooded swamps of Canada and Alaska and are most likely to be seen on the Upper Texas Coast October through March. The birds seen here are normally in winter plumage: adults of both sexes have rusty feather edges. First winter males and females look very similar, but females have gray rather than black plumage. In breeding plumage, males are glossy black, and females are gray. In our area, Brazos Bend State Park and Bear Creek County Park have been productive locations. Both photos on this page were taken at Brazos Bend State Park in January, 2009.