Insight: California Blackbird Study Thursday, June 19, 2014 | Sacramento, CA Listen / download audio Update RequiredTo play audio, update browser or Flash plugin. Sylvia Wright / Regents of the University of California, Davis California’s tricolored blackbirds have suffered a dramatic population decline in recent years -- down 64 percent in the last six years. We’ll talk with UC Davis environmental researcher Robert Meese about what may have caused the decline and the next steps we should take to protect this iconic bird. Pictures of the Red-winged blackbird (left) and the Tricolored blackbird (right). Photos courtesy of UC Davis.