Making a home for Tricolored Blackbirds

August 31st, 2011 · by Garrison Frost

Thanks to the help of Chris Wilson and Chris Hauser at the Santa Lucia Conservancy, Tricolored Blackbirds have a new place to nest in Carmel Valley. Audubon California is working with the Conservancy to enhance several ponds on the 20,000-acre Santa Lucia Preserve to be more attractive and productive for Tricolored Blackbirds. Cattail habitat on one pond has been improved so far, with more ponds available for future work. In addition to providing great nesting habitat, these cattail stands are especially important because they are embedded in thousands of acres of protected grasslands, where insects, especially grasshoppers, are an abundant food source needed for successfully raising young. Projects like this will be critical for the long-term conservation of this species. Tricolored Blackbirds used to be abundant on the central coast, but breeding populations have dwindled to fewer than 2,400 due to loss of breeding and foraging habitat. The Santa Lucia Conservancy and Audubon California are helping to restore some of this disappearing habitat and help support the small but persistent Tricolored Blackbird population that calls the California coast its home.

Categories: Audubon California · Bird conservation · Bird Habitat · Tricolored Blackbird

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