The Christmas Bird Count in the Chicago area is showing Blue Jays are returning to the region, the Chicago Ornithological Society said.

Last year's count found 47 Blue Jays in one section of the Palos Forest Preserves, but several hundred were found this year, said Ken Wysocki, former president of the Chicago Ornithological Society.

Wysocki said crows -- the birds most vulnerable to West Nile virus -- remain scarce. But he is uncertain if the local blue jay population was reduced by virus and rebounded, or blue jays from elsewhere moved into the area, reported WBBM-AM in Chicago.

The Christmas Bird count started in the 1800s and is done one single day in the same area every year by the same people, a couple of weeks before Christmas or a couple of weeks after.

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