[Ontbirds]rusty blackbird MOULTS at Cranberry, sw Whitby, Nov.25/08

Doug Lockrey lockrey33 at rogers.com
Tue Nov 25 13:25:55 EST 2008

For the past 2 weeks we have had as many as 11 RUSTY BLACKBIRDS on the path near the Cranberry Marsh Raptor Watch platform. Recently the number has fallen to 4-6, one of which has been very light-breasted and having dark eyes--it is slightly smaller than its full-adult partners, and often seemed to be shunned by the latter.

This Nov.25 morning several of us witnessed a similar bird, it having only slightly pale eyes.

Now then, Craig McLauchlan's research indicates that "a juvenile RB that is moulting into a 1st-basic male has a dark eye, it becoming paler as the moult completes". 

The watching of these Rusties was the only thing that kept us busy, other than our usual camaraderie. It was great to have Connie and Jack from Stouffville with us.  

As you may gather---no migrating raptors this morning.

Doug Lockrey, Whitby,ON

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