1/4 of U.S. Birds at Risk, Study Says

1/4 of U.S. Birds at Risk, Study Says
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The tricolored blackbird, which roosts in the freshwater highlands of California's Central Valley and some of the state's coastal areas, is facing increasing threats from habitat loss, says a new report by the National Audubon Society and the American Bird Conservancy.

The birds have responded by taking to agricultural fields for nesting—leaving chicks vulnerable to crop harvests—the study authors write.

The blackbird is one of 217 species designated as at-risk in the new report, which analyzed five years of bird population data using a new method developed through extensive expert input, the study authors say.

The authors add that they want their method to become a "gold standard" for future decisions on bird conservation, and they expect it to be adopted by government agencies.

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—Photograph by Dave Menke/Audubon
 
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