There are a very little part of the many birds exterminated by humans in last five centuries. We are the worst pest in the planet, we are killing an ENTIRE SPECIES every 15 SECONDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are destroying the planet and all the life on Earth causing the Sixth Massive Extinction on earth. The five first Massive Extinction was probably not so terrible as the caused by us. The Permic one extincted the 90% of life on Earth but was much more slow. The fifth Massive Exctinction, that make disappear the dinosaurs except birds, probably had many different causes working together and is not as impressibe as the caused by us. And the world continue with this tendence. Slowly decreasing, but so slowly that probably will be too late for many species in next centuries. Well, a light explanation on each species. 1. Great auk (Pinguinus impennis) This unique bird was once very common in Greenland and Finland, migrating each year and coming in winter even to Spain. This flightless seabird was the biggest in the Alcidae family. Birds was chased for food, and some submarine volcanic activity make them a rare and endangered species so the people turned quickly very interested by it. Lots of money was offered for skins and dead specimens, although first protection programmes was installed since XVI century, but illegal trapping continues. In 1840 last great auks of England was killed. Last pair of the world, in the last colony (Eldey island, Iceland) was incubating in the nest where was found by Jón Brandsson and Sigurður Ísleifsson that killed the birds and Ketill Ketilsson that smashed the eggs with his boot. 2. Javanese lapwing (Vanellus macropterus) This species once lived in Java and maybe Sumatra and Timor islands. Poorly known, was not seen since 1940 and declared extinct. Probably the disappearing is due to human growing in the islands, that disturbed the birds and destroyed the marshes for make rice fields and other cultives. 3. Laughing owl (Sceloglaux albifacies) This New Zealand native, probably evolved from the genus Ninox, was last seen (a dead one) in 1914 in Canterbury. North and South Island have each one his own subspecies. Bird collectors, habitat destruction and introduced cats and other predators. 4. Lord Howe swamphen (Porphyrio albus) As almost all the Lord Howe endemic birds and a great quantity of insular rails, this unique fowl disappeared centuries ago. The rest of living and extinct moorhens and swamphens are purple or black, but this white one was a fantastic exception. Now only two skins, some subfossil bones and many paintings, the first one from 1790 when the bird was common yet, is all that remains from it. Sailors and whale-killers hunted this bird, mainly for food, until his complete extinction. 5. Guadalupe caracara (Polyborus lutosus) Being almost the only recently extinct raptor, this bird wera one of the most sad tales about human stupidness behind it. The bird, once common on Guadalupe island, was hated by the evil farm men that brought destructive damn goats to the island. As this is a carrion-eating bird, farmers saw caracaras feeding on dead goats and of course the first thing that they do is believe that the bird kill goats (they would be able of believe that from a hummingbird). First ornithologist described it as a "malevolous bird". And after comes more and more of the incredibly evilness of our species: as the goats that we brought to the island of course destroyed completely the island habitats and breeded invading all the island, humans destroyed completely all island habitat for stop the wild goat breeding!!!!!!!!!!!!! That sound similar as to kill an ill person for curate certain illness in him. Damn! In december of 1900 the ornithologist Rollo Beck killed the last individuals of this species (he killed all that he saw except two), believing that it was a common species. He chased the two alive specimens probably, maybe he kept them alive in captivity, but no info is found about it. 6. Imperial woodpecker (Campephilus imperialis) This was once the largest woodpecker of the world, seconded that the probably evanishing now, Ivory-billed woodpecker (C. principalis). The bird was found in Mexico and the last report was in 1965. The extinction is due to habitar destruction, although direct chase helped too. 120 taxidermy specimes rest now. 7. Stephens Island wren (Xenicus lyalli) This bird was part of an strange an unique bird family endemic to New Zealand, most of which species are extinct (only two are still alive and both are rare). This family of tiny suboscines have a rounded body, slender bill, big legs and foot and almost no tail. This bird is believed to be extinct only by a single cat, the cat of the lighthouse keeper, but in fact was extinct by the previous presence of many more cats introduced to the island, "Tibbles", the cat of the lighthouse keeper, killed the last ones and was that keeper, David Lyall, who put the bird in knowlegde of science, sending some birds that Tibbles chased to ornithologist. This species and other extinct members of the same family, with the Canary Islands Trias's greenfinch, was the only flightless passerines in the world. As we killed them all, none remain today. 8. Himalayan quail (Ophrysia superciliosa) This bird in an unique genus, taxonomically close to the pheasants, was last reported in 1876, and known by only 12 individuals. No much is known about how was extinct. Wars and habitat destruction can be the main reasons. 9. Pallas's cormorant (Phalacrocorax perspicillatus) This bird was found on Bering Islands. No much is know about it. The bird was chased for meat and feathers. Last birds reported was on Ariy Rock islet in 1850. Some taxidermy specimens rest now. 10. Snail-eating Coua (Coua delalandei) Like all Couas (fortunately all of them alive except this one), this cuckoo was endemic to Madagascar. It lived in land, avoiding flight. It's supposed to be extinct around 1870, but the causes are not clear. A single individual lived in captivity some months. About 10 taxidermy specimens are conserved. 11. Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) What can we say here. Dodo is the symbol of the extinct birds and known by almost everybody. A book could be wrote about it (in fact, it's done). Dodo was only one of the many species killed by explorators in the western Indian Ocean islands, but it's the most famous of all. The last free dodo was seen in 1662, but probably the dodo was still alive until 1690. For this bird is better a link www.petermaas.nl/extinct/speciesinfo/dodobird.htm
12. King Island emu (Dromaius ater) One of the two island emus extinct lately, this one inhabited King Island, between mainland Australia and Tasmania. It has the half of the size of the common Australian emu. Only about 20 years passed between the discovery and the extinction. In the Menagerie du Jardin des Plantes in Paris was kept the only captive specimens ever. These captive birds died (1822) long after the species disappeared from their natural habitat. Causes of extinction was direct hunt and provocated fires. About three taxidermy individuals remains, at least one in Paris and other in Italia. 13. Bourbon crested starling (Fregilupus varius) This pied bird with an amazing crest was endemic to Reunion island in Indian Ocean. Males (illustrated) have a strange crest directed forwards, while female's crest is more "normal". Causes of extinction are direct predation by introduced rats and competence with the introduced Common Mynah, as well as direct hunt for food or for kill them because it eated coffee's berries. The last specimen was killed in 1837 and if any tiny population survived after, they was destroyed by fires and forest destruction by humans few years after. Now we count only with taxidermy specimens, that comes from 19 individuals. 14. Dominican green-and-yellow macaw (Ara atwoodi) This is only one of the enormous number of macaws, mainly endemic to Caribbean islands, extinct in the next two-three centuries after America's discovery. Living macaw species are more or less half than would have been without human disturbances on these islands. Majority of these macaws are known from bones or tales and old drawings, so many species can be considered even as hypothetical. Only Cuban macaw (Ara tricolor) count with taxidermy specimens. In the case of Ara atwoodi, it's known only by a tale of Thomas Atwood, who described it in 1791. The birds was chased for food and as pets. Probably it became extinct between XVIII and XIX centuries. 15. Huia (Heteralocha acutirostris) This is probably one of the most well known extinct birds after dodo. This New Zealand endemic had an unique feature: males had a conical strong bill and females (illustrated) a long and curved one. It belongs to the strange family Callaeidae, that after the disappearing of Huia only count with two species (both from New Zealand too), both rare or very rare and one of them with an extinct subspecies. Huia was killed by the tail feathers, due to a gift that Maoris done to Gales Prince during his visit to the island, what caused a fancy between occidental people, of wear these feathers in hats. Last bird was seen in 1907. 16. Norfolk Island kaka (Nestor productus) This parrot was similar to Kea and living Kaka but with a golden underparts plumage and a long and much stronger bill. It was chased for food and became extinct in the wild in the early XIX century, while in captivity the last bird died in 1851, in London. A number of skins and mounted specimens are all that we have today. 17. Mascarene parrot (Mascarinus mascarinus) Another of the many birds that, like the dodo, became extinct on western Indian Ocean islands just after the arrival of European explorators. Although many alive birds was brought to France, they died soon, in 1800 only one left kept in captivity, and almost sure in this year the bird was already extinct in the wild. This last bird probably died a bit after 1835. Of the three taxidermy specimens conserved after bird extinction, only two rest today. 18. Broad-billed parrot (Lophopsittacus mauritianus) This strange black parrot was found on Mauritius island as the dodo. Direct killing and predation by introduced pigs, macaques and rats brought this flightless bird quickly to extinction. 19. Mamo (Drepanis pacifica) With the also extinct Black Mamo (D. funerea), this genus gave the name to the Drepanididae family, a family of nectar-feeding birds endemic to Hawaii islands and maybe condenated to extinction, due overall by diseases transmited by mosquitos introduced by humans. D. pacifica was endemic to the greatest of Hawaiian islands: Hawai'i. It wast last seen in 1899. The Mamo disappeared due to habitat loss, direct hunting for feathers, and diseases. Many taxidermy specimens are conserved. 20. Canary Islands oystercatcher (Haematopus meadewaldoi) This bird was endemic to Lanzarote and Fuerteventura islands. Last bird was collected in 1913 and probably the species would survived some years more, until 1940's. Causes of extinction are probably disturbance by humans and overcollecting of seafood (clams, crabs, etc) that was the food of this bird. Now only exist 4 taxidermy specimens. 21. Glaucous macaw (Anodorhynchus glaucus) This incredible emerald-blue macaw was found in a small zone between Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Last record was in 1960's. Habitat loss was main threat along with direct hunt.