DANVILLE -- Fewer crows are making Vermilion County their home this winter.
A recent Audubon Society bird count found only 121,500 crows in the east-central Illinois county. That's almost half the number recorded a few years ago. At one time, the population was more than 250,000.
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Steve Bailey is a biologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey in Champaign and was one of the bird counters. He and other counters tell the (Danville) Commercial-News that last year's drought might be to blame for the decrease. If there's not as much food for birds to find in the fields, they might go farther south.
Bailey says smaller perching birds -- such as cardinals and bluejays -- also showed a decrease across the state.