Today is Birds and Beers at Joe's Garage--hopefully we'll see some hot crow action coming to the roost (if it hasn't shifted too far west) but at the very least, it's a great place with great food and beverages to meet other people interested in birds.
"We're looking for date, location, the time you began each survey, how long you were birding, and how far you traveled," said eBird co-leader Brian Sullivan. "It's important to submit your observations even if you don't see any Rusty Blackbirds. Negative data are incredibly valuable and still tell us a lot."
The focus of the blitz is on states that are known to be part of the Rusty Blackbird's winter range in bottomland wooded-wetlands, primarily in American midwestern and southeastern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana (yo, Mom, that's you--how about you, Aunt Lynne, and Aunt Lorelei go looking for some), Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (east), Virginia, and West Virginia.
So, what does a rusty blackbird look like in winter? Like this:
If you go to the Rusty Blackbird eBird page (that's where the above photo came from) they give information on how to collect the info, photos of rusty habitat, and various photos of what rusty blackbirds look like so you can learn how to tell them apart from grackles and Brewer's blackbirds.