Tricolored Blackbird California Survey 2014


Male tricolored blackbird – Photo by Bom Meese

Richard Figueroa, SBAS Science Chair, has been recruiting and coordinating volunteers to monitor and collect survey data for tricolored blackbirds to document their decline in numbers. Our volunteers have surveyed sites in Santa Ynez and Cuyama. The conservation of the species has received increased attention due to the petition to list the species under the protections of the federal and state of California Endangered Species Acts. Although these petitions were declined, the tricolored blackbirds remain a species of concern and the focus of conservation efforts. CA Audubon and UC Davis are part of the Tricolored Blackbird Working Group that has produced a conservation strategy, a guide to conservation efforts and a response to concerns over documented declines in the distribution and abundance of the species. These declines occurred primarily in the 20th century in an apparent response to widespread, landscape-level changes in regions where they were formerly abundant. The Conservation Strategy can be downloaded here: Conservation Plan MOA 2009 2.0 update.pdf. The SBAS conservation/science committee shares the concern for the tricolored blackbird and we are working cooperatively to help sustain the birds and their habitats.