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Birds; Extinct and Endangered

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It is becoming clearer and clearer the devastation we as humans inflict on our planet.

Audubon's Sketch of Carolina Parakeet

Audubon's Sketch of Carolina Parakeet

Audubon Sketch of Carolina Parakeet

Audubon Sketch of Carolina Parakeet

The Carolina Parakeet

The Carolina Parakeet was THE ONLY parrot native to the United States. A beautiful, colorful parakeet with a green body, yellow head, and red around the bill. Their feathers were in high demand for ladies' hats. John Audubon described them with one simple word, STUNNING.

The birds were found from southern New York and Wisconsin all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Natives called the parakeet Puzzi la nee, meaning 'head of yellow.' The last known was killed in Okeechobee, Florida 1904. In captivity, a male specimen, Incas, died 1918, a year after his mate also died in the Cincinnati zoo. The closest living relative to the now-extinct Carolina parakeet is the Sun parakeet.

Flocks of several hundred flew the air making like a rainbow of color. But, farmers considered them pests. They would use a shotgun, killing so many with one shot. The Carolina parakeet had an unusual devotion to their comrades and would circle them, someone like comfort. This made it easy for another kill.

Surrounding their farms was the invasive weed, Cockleburs, which were poisonous to livestock. Amazingly, the Carolina parakeet ate the cockleburs and controlled the poisonous weed. Unfortunately, the farmers failed to realize how important the bird was to them. And killing them drove them to extinction. And such a unique and beautiful bird native to the states


Dog covered With Cockleburs

Dog covered With Cockleburs

invasive Cockleburs

invasive Cockleburs

Cow Covered In Cockleburs

Cow Covered In Cockleburs

Other Extinct Birds

  • Eskimo Curlew. It was the rarest bird in Canada, and it breeds in Canada but winters in South America. It was also one of the most numerous birds in the western arctic, Canada and Alaska. In the 1800s, over two million were killed per year. Today, less than fifty are left.
  • Passenger Pigeon. In the 1800s, there were three billion, and in 1883 it was identified by John Audubon. By 1900 none survived in the wild. The last one, Martha, died in her cage in the Cincinnati Zoo. It is believed the loss of habitat contributed to extinction.
  • Giant Moa. Found on an island in the Indian Ocean, the Moa was very large, twelve feet high, weighed 600 pounds. There were no predators on the island to hunt them. Then the Maoris people came who hunted the Moa, ate the flesh, used the feathers and skin for clothing, and the bones for fish hooks and jewelry. At the same time, the Haast's Eagle was also exterminated since their diet was the Moa.
  • The Great Auk. By 1500 Europeans discovered the Great Auk on Funk Island. Their feathers were prized for pillows and quilts. Greed for their feathers and eggs reduced their count from millions to a tiny group. In 1844, the last two were hunted and strangled by fishermen on Eldey Island.
  • Dodo Bird. A plump and flightless bird was found on the Island of Mauritius. In 1518 Dutch sailors discovered them on the island. The Dutch found them tasty and ate them. They also introduced pigs, cats, and monkeys to the island, which ate the eggs. By 1660none were left. Although specimens had been sent to England, the museum curators felt there were so many left they did not take care of the specimens, so that by the 19th century, not one complete specimen was left.
Passenger Pigeon

Passenger Pigeon

Giant Moa

Giant Moa

Dodo Bird

Dodo Bird

Great Auk

Great Auk

Some Common Endangered Birds of U.S.

  • Piping Plover
  • Florida Grasshopper Sparrow
  • Whooping Crane
  • Golden Cheeked Warbler
  • California Tern


birds-extinct-and-endangered
birds-extinct-and-endangered

Protect Wildlife

Birds are so essential in the earth's ecosystem. They impact human health, control pests, pollinate plants, work as nature's clean-up crew, and even help keep coral reefs alive. We need to take responsibility to save our earth. We can stop deforestation, plant a tree, buy certified wood products, support companies that commit to helping our planet. Above, support conservation by donating or volunteering to work with them.

Comments

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on April 23, 2021:

DDE, thank you for your visit. I agree everyone should care what happens to our planet.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 23, 2021:

Birds are beautiful creatures and to know of this is sad and inconsiderate to those who don't care.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 22, 2021:

It is a shame that so many birds have become extinct. Hopefully, the ones that are endangered will not follow that same path.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on April 22, 2021:

Brenda, thank you for visiting. I do hope we are all becoming more aware of how we destroy and affect our planet. Again, thanks for your comment.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on April 22, 2021:

It's sad about the Carolina parakeet. Too bad the farmers didn't realize they were of help to them.

Those sketches are awesome.

I don't think i would ever want to see a giant Moa...12 ft high.

Interesting article & reminder for all of us to plant a tree.

Around here, so many are destroyed for new buildings, which make the wildlife come into town.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on April 22, 2021:

Pamela, thanks for visiting. I agree extinctions are problematic and somehow we need to do better before our planet ceases to exist.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on April 22, 2021:

Emerge, thanks for your visit. Love your comment going bird watching. It's such a relaxing hobby.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on April 21, 2021:

Nice article, bird watching is an excellent hobby. I love to go to the Karnala bird sanctuary near Bombay to spend hours watching birds.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 21, 2021:

I think it is sad that any birds are extinct, Fran. This is a very good article that lets us know which birds are extinct, and why. Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

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