Rusty Blackbirds at Cranberry Marsh

Rusty Blackbirds are migrating south from their muskeg breeding habitat in the Boreal Forest. Rusties have declined significantly in recent years. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) designated it as Special Concern because it could become Threatened or Endangered. A great spot now to see Rusty Blackbirds is Cranberry Marsh in Whitby east of Toronto. Photo: Rusty Blackbird at Cranberry Marsh1 October 2013. The rusty edges to the feathers will wear off over the winter months to produce the black breeding plumage next spring.


Probable female Rusty Blackbird is identified by the buff-brown edgings on the cheek, chin, throat, breast, and sides that are lighter than on a male Rusty. Cranberry Marsh on 1 October 2013.