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Blackbird found mostly in California declines

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- Scientists say a blackbird species found mostly in the Central Valley has experienced a major decline in its population over the last several years.

A survey of the tricolored blackbird released on Wednesday shows the bird now numbers about 145,000 in California, down from millions a century ago.

The survey was conducted by the University of California, Davis in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Audubon California. It was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1jAYiwa).

It found the bird's population has fallen 64 percent since 2008. The decline is blamed at least in part on the harvesting of feed crops on dairy farms where the tricolored blackbird has come to nest.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

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