According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), 77 bird species in the United States are threatened with extinction. VU, endangered EN, and critically endangered CR (v. 2013.2, the data is current as of March 5, 2014 ).The IUCN has classified each of these species into one of three conservation statuses: vulnerable
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable".
Birds, also known as Aves, are a group of endothermic vertebrates, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) ostrich. They rank as the world's most numerically-successful class of tetrapods, with approximately ten thousand living species, more than half of these being passerines, sometimes known as perching birds. Birds have which are more or less developed depending on the species; the only known groups without wings are the extinct moa and elephant birds. Wings, which evolved from forelimbs, gave birds the ability to fly, although further evolution has led to the loss of flight in flightless birds, including ratites, penguins, and diverse endemic island species of birds. The digestive and respiratory systems of birds are also uniquely adapted for flight. Some bird species of aquatic environments, particularly seabirds and some waterbirds, have further evolved for swimming.
In biology, a species ( ) is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring, typically by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, morphology, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more closely they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between closely related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, and in a ring species. Also, among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, and each clone is potentially a microspecies.
Family Diomedeidae (albatrosses)
The short-tailed albatross or Steller's albatross is a large rare seabird from the North Pacific. Although related to the other North Pacific albatrosses, it also exhibits behavioural and morphological links to the albatrosses of the Southern Ocean. It was described by the German naturalist Peter Simon Pallas from skins collected by the Georg Wilhelm Steller. Once common, it was brought to the edge of extinction by the trade in feathers, but with protection has recently made a recovery.
Family Procellariidae (shearwaters)
The Bermuda petrel is a gadfly petrel. Commonly known in Bermuda as the cahow, a name derived from its eerie cries, this nocturnal ground-nesting seabird is the national bird of Bermuda and can be found on Bermudian money. It is the second rarest seabird on the planet and a symbol of hope for nature conservation. They are known for their medium-sized body and long wings. The Bermuda petrel has a greyish-black crown and collar, dark grey upper-wings and tail, white upper-tail coverts and white under-wings edged with black, and the underparts are completely white.
The Jamaican petrel is a small seabird in the gadfly petrel genus, Pterodroma. It is related to the black-capped petrel P. hasitata, and often considered a subspecies.
The white-necked petrel, also known as the white-naped petrel, is a species of seabird in the family Procellariidae. During the non-breeding season it occurs throughout a large part of the Pacific, but it is only known to breed on Macauley Island in New Zealand's Kermadec Islands and the Australian territory of Norfolk Island and Phillip Island. It formerly bred on Raoul Island, but has now been extirpated from this locality. Reports of breeding on Merelava, Vanuatu, are more likely to be the very similar Vanuatu petrel, P. occulta, which some consider to be a subspecies of the white-necked petrel. The IUCN rating as vulnerable is for the "combined" species.
Family Hydrobatidae (storm petrels)
Family Anatidae (ducks, geese, and swans)
The nene, also known as nēnē and Hawaiian goose, is a species of bird endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The official bird of the state of Hawaiʻi, the nene is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, Molokai, and Hawaiʻi.
The Laysan duck, also known as the Laysan teal, is a dabbling duck endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. Fossil evidence reveals that Laysan ducks once lived across the entire archipelago, but today survive only on Laysan Island. The duck has evolved several physical and behavioral traits linked to the absence of ground-based predators in its habitat. By 1860, the ducks had disappeared from everywhere except Laysan Island. The introduction of rabbits brought the bird to the brink of extinction in 1912 with twelve surviving individuals. Rabbits were eradicated from the island in 1923 and numbers of Laysan ducks began to rise, reaching 500 by the 1950s. In an effort to ensure the long-term future of this duck, 42 birds were translocated to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in 2002. These thrived in their new surroundings, and another group were later relocated to Kure Atoll.
The Hawaiian duck or koloa is a species of bird in the family Anatidae that is endemic to the large islands of Hawaiʻi. Taxonomically, the koloa is closely allied with the mallard. It differs in that it is monochromatic and non-migratory. As with many duck species in the genus Anas, Hawaiian duck and mallards can interbreed and produce viable offspring, and the koloa has previously been considered an island subspecies of the mallard. However, all major authorities now consider this form to be a distinct species within the mallard complex. Recent analyses indicate that this is a distinct species that arose through ancient hybridization between mallard and Laysan duck. The native Hawaiian name for this duck is koloa maoli, or simply koloa. This species is listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and its population trend is decreasing.
Family Cathartidae (New World vultures)
The California condor is a New World vulture, the largest North American land bird. This condor became extinct in the wild in 1987, but the species has since been reintroduced to northern Arizona and southern Utah, the coastal mountains of central and southern California, and northern Baja California. Although other fossil members are known, it is the only surviving member of the genus Gymnogyps. The species is listed by the IUCN as critically endangered.
Family Phasianidae (pheasants)
The lesser prairie chicken is a species in the grouse family. It is a medium to large bird, striped white and brown, slightly smaller and paler than its near relative the greater prairie chicken. Adults range from 15.0-16.1 in (38-41 cm) in length and 22.1-28.7 oz in weight.
The greater prairie chicken or pinnated grouse, sometimes called a boomer, is a large bird in the grouse family. This North American species was once abundant, but has become extremely rare and extirpated over much of its range due to habitat loss. Conservation measures are underway to ensure the sustainability of existing small populations. One of the most famous aspects of these creatures is the mating ritual called booming.
Family Rallidae (rails)
Family Gruidae (cranes)
Family Laridae (gulls)
Family Scolopacidae (waders)
Family Alcidae (auks)
Family Psittacidae (African and neotropical parrots)
Family Picidae (woodpeckers)
Family Vireonidae (vireos)
Family Corvidae (crows and jays)
Family Hirundinidae (swallows)
Family Turdidae (thrushes)
Family Mimidae (mimids)
Family Motacillidae (wagtails and pipits)
Family Parulidae (New World warblers)
Family Acrocephalidae (marsh- and tree-warblers)
Family Emberizidae (New World sparrows)
Family Icteridae (New World blackbirds)
Family Fringillidae (finches)
Family Monarchidae (monarch flycatchers)
Located about 2300 miles (3680 km) from the nearest continental shore, the Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated group of islands on the planet. The plant and animal life of the Hawaiian archipelago is the result of early, very infrequent colonizations of arriving species and the slow evolution of those species—in isolation from the rest of the world's flora and fauna—over a period of at least 5 million years. As a consequence, Hawai'i is home to a large number of endemic species. The radiation of species described by Charles Darwin in the Galapagos Islands which was critical to the formulation of his theory of evolution is far exceeded in the more isolated Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian honeycreepers are small, passerine birds endemic to Hawaiʻi. They are closely related to the rosefinches in the genus Carpodacus. Their great morphological diversity is the result of adaptive radiation in an insular environment.