The beginning of nesting season is a great opportunity to get a read on the population number of Tricolored Blackbirds. This weekend, about a hundred surveyors are taking the field in locations throughout the state to count the birds. The survey is being led by our friends at UC Davis. Lots of Audubon volunteers and staff are taking part. While the bird has been sharply declining in recent years -- 44 percent since 2011 -- we're optimistic that we'll find more birds this year. Rains this year have made things much more hospitable for the birds. That said, Tricolored Blackbirds nesting on dairy farms will still be in danger if we're not able to arrange to have the colonies protected. Results from this year's survey will be available later this summer.