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Weekends with Whitney: The Declining Bird Population

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BATON ROUGE - Louisiana is known as Sportsman's Paradise, but it's also a paradise for our feathered friends. The bird population is rich here, but it's now in decline. In this Weekends with Whitney preview, News 2's Whitney Vann shows you how you can help reverse the alarming trend.

The Great Backyard Bird Count begins on Friday, February 13th. It's your chance to join people in 135 countries to get a picture of the bird population worldwide. Audubon Louisiana's Director of Bird Conservation, Dr. Erik Johnson says those numbers will tell us a lot about ourselves, as well as Mother Earth.

"Birds are a good indicator of how the ecosystem is doing," he explains. "When their population is declining we know something is wrong. They let us know how the world around us is changing and how we might be able to fix it."

According to recent studies, the number of birds declining aren't just those that are exotic or endangered. The dip in the population of common birds is an alarming trend.

"Habitat loss is one of the main reasons," Dr. Johnson opines. "We convert natural habitats to lawns, parking lots and malls that do not support the habitat certain birds need."

Two ways you can help reverse the trend is by planting bird-friendly vegetation and putting out bird feeders.

Louisiana is currently home to 300 known bird species, but you may be able to discover more that haven't been discovered yet by participating the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Watch Weekends with Whitney Sunday at 6:30 a.m. for more on the Great Backyard Bird Count, flocking along the LSU Lakes and more Carnival Season fun.



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