KQED: Saving the Tricolored Blackbird


Bob Meese, an ICE ecologist, has been working with tricolored blackbirds, a California near-endemic songbird and species of special concern, for over three years. Bob worked with the late Bill Hamilton, an emeritus professor in the Department of Environmental Science & Policy, and continues the work begun by Professor Hamilton 15 years ago to better understand the causes for, and suggest solutions to, the species decline. Once the most numerous songbird in coastal California, the tricolor has been extirpated as a coastal breeder and is largely confined to the Central Valley and southern California. Bob works under contract to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service throughout California's Central Valley to detect, monitor, and document the productivities of tricolor breeding colonies and in 2007 began the largest color-banding effort ever undertaken to better understand the spatial and temporal movements of the species.

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