Vanishing Feathers:  8 Birds on the Brink of Extinction

17th March, 2024


Why it's in danger: This flightless, nocturnal parrot is critically endangered due to introduced predators like cats and stoats. Conservation efforts have progressed, but their numbers could be much higher. What's amazing: Kakapos are quirky parrots with strong personalities and a booming mating call. 

Kakapo (New Zealand)

Northern Bald Ibis (Morocco, Syria, Turkey)

Why it's in danger: Once widespread, these birds have suffered from habitat degradation, hunting, and pesticide poisoning. Only a few small colonies remain. What's amazing: With its bald head and curved beak, the ibis has an otherworldly appearance and was revered in ancient Egypt. 

Philippine Eagle (Philippines)

Why it's in danger: This majestic raptor is losing its rainforest habitat to deforestation, making it difficult to find prey and raise young. What's amazing: The Philippine Eagle is one of the world's largest and most powerful eagles, symbolizing the country's unique biodiversity. 

Spix's Macaw (Brazil)

Why it's in danger: Habitat loss and capture for the pet trade decimated this vibrant blue macaw. Though small, reintroduced populations exist, it's considered extinct in the wild. What's amazing: The Spix's Macaw's story is a stark reminder of the impact of the illegal pet trade and a testament to ongoing conservation efforts.  

California Condor (USA)

Why it's in danger: Lead poisoning, habitat loss, and collisions with power lines nearly wiped out this iconic scavenger. Intensive breeding programs have helped populations recover slightly. What's amazing: Condors have enormous wingspans and are vital to nature's clean-up crew. 

Spoon-Billed Sandpiper (East Asia)

Why it's in danger: Habitat destruction along their migratory routes and trapping are taking a devastating toll on these tiny shorebirds. What's amazing: Its unique spatula-shaped beak is perfectly adapted for its feeding style.  

Snowy Owl (Arctic)

Why it's in danger: Climate change disrupts the Arctic ecosystem, affecting their prey and breeding success. What's amazing: Their striking white plumage and piercing yellow eyes make them a symbol of Arctic wilderness. 

Forest Owlet (India)

Why it's in danger: This small owl is critically endangered due to the loss of its specific forest habitat in central India. What's amazing: The owl was thought extinct for over a century before its rediscovery in 1997.