Cooperative Research Units
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Productivity and foraging ecology of breeding Rusty Blackbirds on the Copper River Delta, Alaska


October 2009 - December 2012


The Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) has been identified as a high priority for conservation because of apparent steep populaton declines observed since the 1960's. Until recently, this species has been poorly studied and much information is lacking regarding basic biology. This study is being conducted on the Gult of Alaska coast (i.e., Copper River Delta) and is part of a multi-site project investigating the basic breeding ecology of this species in Alaska. In addition documenting breeding habitat use and monitoring reproductive success, we are attempting to gain some basic knowledge about the diet of this species while on the breeding ground and how aquatic invertebrate resources in the Delta may impact blackbird productivity.

Research Products and Activities

Technical Publications

  • Dugger, K.M., and D.M. Loomis. 2012. Productivity and provisioning rates of breeding Rusty Blackbirds in relation to diet on the Copper River Delta, Alaska. Final Technical Report.


  • Loomis, David M. 2013. Reproductive success and foraging ecology of the Rusty Blackbird on the Copper River Delta, Alaska. M.S. Thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 86pp.


  • Loomis, D and KM Dugger. 2010. Reproductive Success and Foraging Ecology of the Rusty Blackbird on the Copper River Delta. Alaska Bird Conference 2010, Anchorage, Alaska, November 16-18, 2010.
  • Loomis, D, KM Dugger, MB Berg, and CS Zack. 2011. Reproductive Success and Foraging Ecology of the Rusty Blackbird on the Copper River Delta. The Wildlife Society Annual Conference, Waikoloa, HI, November 5-10, 2011.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 55

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 670

Scientific Publications: 1897

Presentations: 4202



Funding Agencies

  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  • USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey