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Grasses frame prairie ecologist Marissa Ahlering as she takes notes while conducting a grassland bird survey June 10. The multi- year project will help track grassland bird populations and improve management of dwindling grassland habitat in Minnesota and other Midwestern states. Dan Gunderson | MPR News

As farming booms, some prairie songbirds fall silent

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DAN GUNDERSON

MPR News 91.3 FM

Moorhead — Northern prairies saw some songbirds return in the 1990s as farmers shifted cropland into grasses. Crop prices were poor then, so idling land benefited farmers and birds.

Helping songbirds, however, is harder when wheat’s topping $7 a bushel.

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