California drought: Central Valley blackbird at risk

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California's tenacious drought is imperiling the tri-colored blackbird in state's Central Valley.

The Fresno Bee reported Sunday that the water shortage may force the blackbird to nest on farmland instead of dry sanctuaries.

The birds perish in large numbers if nesting on farmlands undergoing harvest. Central Valley farmers are expected to harvest as early as possible because of feed and water prices are skyrocketing, bypassing available financial assistance to delay their harvest. The money for delaying the harvest was created by a financial settlement between environmental and agricultural interests.

Most of the world's tri-colored blackbirds live in California. The three million blackbirds in California in the 1930s have dwindled to about 250,000 today.

Environmentalist fear the bird will land on Endangered Species Act protection lists if current conditions persist.

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