Date of this Version
An estimated 538 million blackbirds and Starlings are found in the United States, based on the national cooperative blackbird/Starling winter roost survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during the 1974-75 winter period of December 20-February 15. Ap- proximately 74% or 398 million of these blackbirds and Starlings occurred in the Eastern States, including the tier from Minnesota to Louisiana; 26% or 139 million birds were in the West. The national roosting population in 1974-75 was composed of 11 species (Table 1) in the following approximate proportions: 38% Red-winged Blackbirds; 22% Common Grackles; 20% Starlings; 18% Brown-headed Cowbirds; 2% Brewer’s Blackbirds; and less than 1% six species combined (Rusty Blackbirds, Boat-tailed Grackles, Great-tailed Grackles, Tri-colored Black- birds, Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and Bronzed Cowbirds). (Some 2 million robins also were reported in the 1974-75 survey, though not solicited and therefore not tabulated, from 20 of the blackbird roosts in the Southeast.) The 1974-75 species proportions are similar to those found in the last nationwide winter survey (1969-70). In the 1963-64 national winter survey, Redwings made up 33% and Common Grackles 31% of the total population.