Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)


Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)


French: Quiscale rouilleux German: Roststärling Spanish: Zanate canadiense

Turdus Carolinus

Statius Müller

, 1776,

Carolina, USA


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. c. carolinus (Statius Müller, 1776) – S of tundra from NW Alaska (Kotzebue Sound) E across Canada from Northern Territories (Mackenzie Delta) to Labrador, and S to extreme NE USA (New York State E to C Maine); migrates to E USA.
  • E. c. nigrans Burleigh & J. L. Peters, 1948 – SE Canada (Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick); migrates to E USA.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 23 cm, 45·9–80·4 g; female 21 cm, 47–76·5 g. Male nominate race breeding is uniformly black with rather slight greenish or bluish gloss... read more


    Male song described as a quiet gurgling sound followed by a shrill “kushaléé... read more


    Breeds in clearings within conifer forest and conifer–deciduous forest, usually near water in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Has a rather broad-based diet, feeding on insects and other invertebrates, small vertebrates, carrion, seeds and some fruit. In summer... read more


    Season Apr/May–Jul; single-brooded. Apparently monogamous. Nests solitarily, in E of range also in small loose colonies. Nest built... read more


    Strongly migratory, with no overlap between breeding and non-breeding ranges. Post-breeding... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Classified as “Declining” in the USA (Yellow WatchList priority species for conservation). Estimated total population 2,000,000 individuals in period... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fraga, R. (2020). Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 February 2020).