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Euphagus carolinus

Euphagus carolinus (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Infraordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Passeroidea

Familia: Icteridae
Genus: Euphagus
Species: Euphagus carolinus
Subspecies: E. c. carolinus – E. c. nigrans
Name

Euphagus carolinus (Statius Müller, 1776)
Synonymy

Turdus carolinus (protonym)

References

Statius Müller, P.L. 1776. Des Ritters Carl von Linné Königlich Schwedischen Leibarztes &c. &c. vollständigen Natursystems Supplements- und Register-Band über alle sechs Theile oder Classen des Thierreichs. Mit einer ausführlichen Erklärung. Nebst drey Kupfertafeln. pp. 1–15 + 1–384; 1–40 + 1–536, Tab. I–III. Nürnberg. (Gabriel Nicolaus Raspe). BHL Reference page. p. 140 BHL

Vernacular names
български: Ръждив трупиал
català: Quíscal del Canadà
čeština: Vlhovec severní
Cymraeg: Tresglen winau
dansk: Rødbrun Trupial
Deutsch: Roststärling
English: Rusty Blackbird
Esperanto: Rusta eŭfago
español: Zanate Canadiense
suomi: Korpiturpiaali
français: Quiscale rouilleux
magyar: Fakó lápicsiröge
íslenska: Mýrasóti
italiano: Merlo americano
日本語: クロムクドリモドキ
lietuvių: Juodrudis trupialas
Nederlands: Zwarte Troepiaal
norsk: Kanadatrupial
Diné bizaad: Haʼaʼaahdę́ę́ʼ chʼagiishzhiin
polski: Kacykarzyk karoliński
português: Graúna-ferrugínea
русский: Ржавчатый малый трупиал
slovenčina: Vlhovec tmavý
slovenščina: Črni škorčevec
svenska: Myrtrupial
中文: 锈色黑鹂

The rusty blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) is a medium-sized blackbird, closely related to grackles ("rusty grackle" is an older name for the species). It is a bird that prefers wet forested areas, breeding in the boreal forest and muskeg across northern Canada, and migrating southeast to the United States during winter.

Formerly abundant, the rusty blackbird has undergone one of the most rapid declines of any abundant bird species in North America in recent years, for reasons that are not well understood.

Description

Adults have a pointed bill and a pale yellow eye. They have black plumage with faint green and purple gloss; the female is greyer. "Rusty" refers to the brownish winter plumage. They resemble the western member of the same genus, the Brewer's blackbird; however, Brewer's has a longer bill and the male's head is iridescent green.
Standard Measurements[2][3]
length 8.5–9.8 in (220–250 mm)
weight 60 g (2.1 oz)
wingspan 14 in (360 mm)
wing 110.5–117.4 mm (4.35–4.62 in)
tail 85–94.5 mm (3.35–3.72 in)
culmen 19–21.9 mm (0.75–0.86 in)
tarsus 29.5–33 mm (1.16–1.30 in)
Male, alternate plumage.
Habitat

Their breeding habitat is wet temperate coniferous forests and muskeg across Canada and Alaska. Birds usually nest at the edge of ponds and wetlands with the cup nest located in a tree or dense shrub, often over the water. Emerging dragonflies and their larvae are important food items during the summer.

These birds migrate to the eastern and southeastern United States, into parts of the Grain Belt, sometimes straying into Mexico.
Behavior

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They forage on wet ground or in shallow water, mainly eating insects, small fish and some seeds. Their most common mode of foraging is to vigorously flip leaves and rip at submerged aquatic vegetation. The mast of small-acorn producing oaks, such as willow oak, is also important. In some areas, the nuts of planted pecans are heavily used. They very rarely will attack small passerine birds, and have been known to kill species as large as the common snipe. They feed in flocks during migration and on the wintering grounds, sometimes joining other blackbirds, both often occurring in single species flocks. They more often roost with other blackbirds; some small roosts are in brushy vegetation in old fields and others are in massive mixed flocks—sometimes in the urban areas.

The species nests relatively early for a boreal forest bird. They linger in the boreal zone to complete their molt. Their autumn migration is slow, with birds often remaining in the northern states well into December; spring migration is much more rapid. The largest wintering concentrations are found in the lower Mississippi Valley, with smaller concentrations in the Piedmont and south Atlantic coastal plain.

Fairly quiet in fall migration and most of the winter, both males and females will sing (particularly on warm days) in the late winter and spring. The song consists of gurgling and high-pitched squeaks.
Population

Rusty blackbirds have declined significantly in recent decades. The reasons are unclear, but habitat loss is likely a major contributor to the decline. The habitat loss is likely due to multiple factors, including development for oil, gas, and mining industries, hydroelectric projects, and the clearing of forests for forestry.[4] Mercury contamination may be a problem for populations in northeastern North America. Rarer than previously believed, it was uplisted from a species of Least Concern to Vulnerable status on the 2007 IUCN Red List.[5][6] Deliberate poisoning of mixed-species blackbird flocks, targeting brown-headed cowbird, common grackle and red-winged blackbird, in the southeastern U.S. may also be playing a role; there is currently no estimate of the number of rusty blackbirds killed by these poisonings.[4] In the eastern part of its range, acid rain may be decreasing the availability of calcium-rich invertebrates that the rusty blackbird depends on for food.[4]

Additionally, citizen science projects such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey and Christmas Bird Count have determined that rusty blackbirds have dropped 85%–98% in the past 40 years. This is very worrisome for many people, as scientists are desperately trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. Sighting submission services such as eBird are encouraging birders to keep track of rusty blackbirds. The International Rusty Blackbird Working Group has been actively coordinating and conducting research on this species since 2005.
References

BirdLife International (2020). "Euphagus carolinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T22724329A180024662. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T22724329A180024662.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
Godfrey, W. Earl (1966). The Birds of Canada. Ottawa: National Museum of Canada. p. 358.
Sibley, David Allen (2000). The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf. p. 514. ISBN 0-679-45122-6.
Wells, Jeffrey V. (2007). Birder's Conservation Handbook. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691123233.
"2006-2007 Red List status changes". BirdLife International. Archived from the original on 28 August 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2007.

BirdLife species factsheet for Euphagus carolinus

Jaramillo, Alvaro; Burke, Peter (1999). New World Blackbirds. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-4333-1.

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