[Tweeters] Rusty Blackbird in Bellingham

Wayne Weber contopus at telus.net
Sat Mar 18 12:01:27 PDT 2017


Here is a further update on the Rusty Blackbird in Bellingham. I looked for it at about 2 PM yesterday, March 17. A circuit of the Fred Meyer’s parking lot, which was crowded by then, failed to produce any blackbirds. However, as I was leaving, I spotted a small group of blackbirds on the telephone wires next to the much larger Costco parking lot, on the opposite (north) side of Bakerview Road. I was able to find the bird in my spotting scope, and had nice views of it for about two minutes. Unfortunately, an attempt to get photos was unsuccessful. The Rusty Blackbird (plus 7 accompanying Brewer’s Blackbirds) flew down into the Costco parking lot and proceeded to look for food among the parked autos, at times quite close to the store entrance. The heavy car and pedestrian traffic made it hard to photograph or even spot the birds most of the time, as they kept disappearing under or behind parked cars.

I suspect that the Brewer’s Blackbirds are long-term residents of the area, perhaps staying in the area all winter or maybe even all year. Brewer’s Blackbirds are among the few bird species that regularly inhabit and look for food in mall parking lots. With luck, the Rusty will stay with them for at least a few more days, for the benefit of birders who want to see it. However, I would advise birders to look for it in the morning, the earlier the better, to avoid the busiest times.

This was my first Rusty Blackbird in Whatcom County, and only my second in the state of Washington, after more than 50 years of birding the state. Unlike my colleague Marv, I have not been lucky enough to see this species in two different counties in the same day! Congratulations to Noah Sanday on finding this bird in a most unlikely place.

Wayne C. Weber

Delta, BC

contopus at telus.net

From: owner-whatcombirds at lists.wwu.edu [mailto:owner-whatcombirds at lists.wwu.edu] On Behalf Of Marv Breece
Sent: March-17-17 7:02 PM
To: Tweeters; whatcombirds
Subject: Rusty Blackbirds

This morning I was lucky enough to see the male RUSTY BLACKBIRD that Noah Sanday found Wednesday at the Fred Meyer on Bakerview Rd in Bellingham. I watched the bird from about 8:45AM until about 10:30. It was still at the Fred Meyer parking lot with 12 BREWER'S BLACKBIRDS when I left at about 10:30AM.

On the way home there was a female RUSTY BLACKBIRD along Norman Road in Snohomish County in a large blackbird flock at the intersection of Marine Drive, south of Stanwood.

Marv Breece
Tukwila, WA
marvbreece at q.com

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