The Tricolored Blackbird is a colonial breeder that is nearly endemic to California. Historically, these birds bred on wetlands in the Central Valley. As a result of the loss of 90 percent of the wetlands, Tricolors increasingly nest in agricultural fields. When nesting and farmers’ harvest schedules conflict high proportions of the Tricolor population are put at risk. Tricolored Blackbirds were listed as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act in April 2018 due to sharp, ongoing population declines. In this presentation Conservation Project Director, Samantha Arthur, will discuss Audubon California’s multi-pronged approach to save the Tricolored Blackbird. This approach includes creating new wetland habitat, working with dairy farmers to delay harvest until after chicks have fledged from nests, and advocating for protections under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts.
Samantha Arthur is a Conservation Project Director for Audubon California, focusing on improving wetlands management for the benefit of bird species in the Central Valley. She also manages Audubon California’s campaign to save the Tricolored Blackbird.