You asked: Bird population not declining

Published 9:30 am Saturday, November 12, 2011

Curious about something in Western Tidewater? Send your question to, and we’ll do our best to find the answer.

You asked: What has happened to birds, like finches, bluebirds and cardinals in the area?

FRANKLIN—A biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said the population of common birds, like cardinals, bluebirds and robins, is not declining.

Wildlife Biologist Steve Lizing said these types of birds actually thrive in human-changed habitats.

“They’ve adapted to suburban and even urban areas,” Lizing said.

He said bird species that are seeing a decline are those that require habitats that are being lost. These species include grassland birds like quail and eastern meadowlark.

Birds that require forests that are not broken up by development are also on the decline. Those species include the scarlet tanager and wood thrush.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website at offers tips to landowners about how to attract wildlife species through In the Backyard: Habitat at Home program.

The program illustrates how individuals can make their yards friendlier to wildlife by planting native trees and shrubs while avoiding invasive exotic species as well as adding cover and food sources.