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Extinct Birds

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Carolina Parakeet, Gustav Mutzel, Brehm's Tierleben, 1911

Carolina Parakeet, Gustav Mutzel

Once abundant, this extinct species nested in large colonies in the cypress swamps in the South Atlantic and Gulf States.  They migrated up the Mississippi, and Missouri Rivers to the Platte and regularly to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska, and in the east to Pennsylvania.   Hunted for their feathers and slaughtered as pests, the last reported sighting in the wild was a small flock in Florida in 1920.




Bachman's Warblers, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, The Warblers of North America, Frank M. Chapman, 1907

Bachman's Warbler, Louis Agassiz Fuertes
Male: left,     Female: right

A recently extinct species, Bachman's Warblers nested in the underbrush of forested swamps in the region bounded by Louisiana up to Kentucky and Maryland, and over to the Carolinas and Georgia, migrating to Cuba in winters. None have been seen since the early 1960s in North America and they were listed as endangered in 1967. 







Dodo, Roland Savery

In 1505, Portuguese explorers discovered the island of Mauritius and the 50 lb flightless Dodos which supplemented their food stores.  Imported pigs, monkeys and rats fed on the Dodo Bird's eggs in their ground nests.  The last Dodo was killed in 1681.






The Rodrigues Solitaire (Pezophaps solitaria) was a relative of the also extinct Dodo and flightless member of the pigeon order that lived on the island of Mauritius. The Solitaire became extinct in the eighteenth century and its remains were discovered later.





Great Auk, Nests and Eggs of North American Birds, Oliver Davie, 1898, originally in Brehm's Tierleben, 1911 - 1918, Alfred Edmund Brehm

Great Auk, Alfred Edmund Brehm

Look familiar?   Before similar looking birds were discovered in the southern hemisphere, the Great Auk or Garefowl was also known as a Penguin.  The Great Auk inhabited the coasts and islands of the North Atlantic from Virginia and Ireland to Greenland and Iceland almost to the Arctic Circle.  The flightless bird was easily captured.  They and their eggs fed many sailors.  Shorebirds that breed in a limited number of colonies at only certain locations are highly susceptible to concentrated stresses and the Great Auk was extinct by mid Nineteenth Century.




Labrador Duck, Key to North American Birds, Elliott Coues, 1903

Labrador Duck, Elliott Coues

Egg gatherers raiding the Labrador Duck's nest colonies on the coasts of Quebec and Labrador probably diminished their numbers to a point where the species could not overcome additional stresses and they became extinct by the late 1870s.

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