8 Exotic Birds Lost to Extinction in Modern Times 

 May 19th , 2024


Once the most abundant bird in North America, darkening the skies with flocks of billions. Overhunting led to its extinction in the early 20th century. 

Passenger Pigeon

Flightless and fearless, this iconic bird of Mauritius was hunted to extinction by sailors in the 17th century. 

Dodo Bird

This flightless seabird, native to the North Atlantic, was overhunted for its meat, feathers, and eggs. 

Great Auk

The only native parrot species in the eastern U.S., wiped out by habitat loss and hunting in the early 20th century.

Carolina Parakeet

This nocturnal owl of New Zealand was known for its haunting laugh-like calls but fell prey to introduced predators. 

Laughing Owl

Giant, flightless birds from New Zealand were hunted to extinction by Polynesian settlers within centuries of their arrival. 


The largest bird ever recorded, these giants roamed Madagascar until hunted to extinction in the 17th century. 

Elephant Bird

This unique bird's bill shape was endemic to New Zealand and exhibited distinct sexual dimorphism. Hunting for its feathers led to its extinction.