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List of extinct bird species since 1500

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5 extinct in the wild avian species (0.05%)223 critically endangered avian species (2%)460 endangered avian species (4.2%)798 vulnerable avian species (7.2%)1,001 near threatened avian species (9.1%)8,460 least concern avian species (76.9%)52 data deficient avian species (0.4%)Circle frame.svg
Avian species (IUCN, 2020-3)
  • 10,999 extant species have been evaluated
  • 10,947 of those are fully assessed[a]
  • 9,461 are not threatened at present[b]
  • 1,481 to 1,533 are threatened[c]
  • 164 to 183 are extinct or extinct in the wild:
    • 159 extinct (EX) species[d]
    • 5 extinct in the wild (EW)
    • 19 possibly extinct [CR(PE)]

  1. ^ excludes data deficient evaluations.
  2. ^ NT and LC.
  3. ^ Threatened comprises CR, EN and VU. Upper estimate additionally includes DD.
  4. ^ Chart omits extinct (EX) species

Around 129 species of birds have become extinct since 1500,[1] and the rate of extinction seems to be increasing.[2] The situation is exemplified by Hawaii, where 30% of all known recently extinct bird taxa originally lived.[citation needed] Other areas, such as Guam, have also been hit hard; Guam has lost over 60% of its native bird taxa in the last 30 years, many of them due to the introduced brown tree snake.[citation needed]

Currently there are approximately 10,000 living species of birds, with an estimated 1,200 considered to be under threat of extinction.[citation needed]

Island species in general, and flightless island species in particular, are most at risk. The disproportionate number of rails in the list reflects the tendency of that family to lose the ability to fly when geographically isolated. Even more rails became extinct before they could be described by scientists; these taxa are listed in List of Late Quaternary prehistoric bird species.

The extinction dates given below are usually approximations of the actual date of extinction. In some cases, more exact dates are given as it is sometimes possible to pinpoint the date of extinction to a specific year or even day (the San Benedicto rock wren is possibly the most extreme example—its extinction could be timed with an accuracy of maybe half an hour). Extinction dates in the literature are usually the dates of the last verified record (credible observation or specimen taken); for many Pacific birds that became extinct shortly after European contact, however, this leaves an uncertainty period of over a century, because the islands on which they lived were only rarely visited by scientists.

Painting of a dodo, with a red parrot on its left side, and a blue one at its right
The famous "Edwards' Dodo", painted by Roelant Savery in 1626

Extinct bird species[edit]


  • Elephant bird, Aepyornis maximus and/or A. medius (Madagascar, 16th century?)


  • Upland moa, Megalapteryx didinus (South Island, New Zealand, late 15th century?)


  • West Coast spotted kiwi, Apteryx occidentalis (South Island, New Zealand, c. 1900)
    A doubtful form known from a single bird; may be a little spotted kiwi subspecies or a hybrid between that species and the rowi.


Ducks, geese and swans

  • Crested shelduck, Tadorna cristata (Northeastern Asia, late 20th century?)
    A relict species from northeastern Asia. Officially critically endangered due to unconfirmed reports made between 1985 and 1991.
  • Réunion sheldgoose, Alopochen kervazoi (Réunion, Mascarenes, c.1690s)
  • Mauritius sheldgoose, Alopochen mauritianus (Mauritius, Mascarenes, c.1695)
  • Amsterdam wigeon, Mareca marecula (Amsterdam Island, South Indian Ocean, c.1800)
  • Saint Paul Island duck, Anas sp. (Saint Paul Island, South Indian Ocean, c.1800)
    Only known by a painting from 1793.[citation needed] Might be identical with the Amsterdam wigeon or a distinct species or subspecies.
  • Mascarene teal, Anas theodori (Mauritius and Réunion, Mascarenes, late 1690s)
  • Mariana mallard, Anas oustaleti (Marianas, West Pacific, 1981)
  • Finsch's duck, Chenonetta finschi (New Zealand, possibly survived to 1870)
  • Réunion pochard, Aythya cf. innotata (Réunion, Mascarenes, c.1690s)
    A bone of a pochard found on Réunion seems to resolve the reports of canards other than the Mauritian duck having occurred on the island. The taxonomic status of this form cannot be resolved until more material is found, however.
  • Labrador duck, Camptorhynchus labradorius (Northeastern North America, ca. 1878)[3]
  • New Zealand merganser, Mergus australis (New Zealand, Auckland Islands, Southwest Pacific, c.1902)


Quails and relatives
See also Bokaak "bustard" under Gruiformes below

  • The pile-builder megapode, Megapodius molistructor may have survived on New Caledonia to the late 18th century as evidenced by descriptions of the bird named "Tetrao australis" and later "Megapodius andersoni".
  • The Viti Levu scrubfowl, Megapodius amissus of Viti Levu and possibly Kadavu, Fiji, may have survived to the early 19th or even the 20th century as suggested by circumstantial evidence.
  • Raoul Island scrubfowl, Megapodius sp. (Raoul, Kermadec Islands, 1876)
    A megapode is said to have inhabited Raoul Island until the population was wiped out in a volcanic eruption. It is not clear whether the birds represent a distinct taxon or derive from a prehistoric introduction by Polynesian seafarers.
  • New Zealand quail, Coturnix novaezelandiae (New Zealand, 1875)
  • Himalayan quail, Ophrysia superciliosa (North India, late 19th century?)
    Officially critically endangered. Not recorded with certainty since 1876, but thorough surveys are still required, and there was a recent set of possible (though unlikely) sightings around Naini Tal in 2003. A little-known native name from Western Nepal probably refers to this bird, but for various reasons, no survey for Ophrysia has ever been conducted in that country, nor is it generally assumed to occur there (due to the native name being overlooked).


Great auk (Pinguinus impennis), Natural History Museum, London, England

Shorebirds, gulls and auks

  • Javan lapwing, Vanellus macropterus (Java, Indonesia, mid-20th century)
    Officially classified as critically endangered, but as this conspicuous bird has not been recorded since 1940, it is almost certainly extinct.
  • Christmas sandpiper, Prosobonia cancellata (Kiritimati Island, Kiribati, 1850s)
  • Tahiti sandpiper, Prosobonia leucoptera (Tahiti, Society Islands, 19th century)
  • Moorea sandpiper, Prosobonia ellisi (Moorea, Society Islands, 19th century)
    Doubtfully distinct from P. leucoptera.
  • North Island snipe, Coenocorypha barrierensis (North Island, New Zealand, 1870s)
  • South Island snipe, Coenocorypha iredalei (South and Stewart Islands, New Zealand, 1964)
  • Eskimo curlew, Numenius borealis (Northern North America, late 20th century?)
    May still exist; officially classified as critically endangered, possibly extinct.
  • Slender-billed curlew, Numenius tenuirostris (Western Siberia, early first decade of the 21st century?)
    May still exist; officially classified as critically endangered. A few birds were recorded in 2004, following several decades of increasing rarity. There was an unconfirmed sighting in Albania in 2007. A survey to find out whether this bird still exists is currently being undertaken by the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK).
  • Great auk, Pinguinus impennis (Newfoundland, 1852)
  • Canary Islands oystercatcher, Haematopus meadewaldoi (Eastern Canary Islands, E Atlantic, c. 1940?)
    Later sightings of black oystercatchers off Senegal were not likely to be of this sedentary species, but two records from Tenerife - the last in 1981 - may be.


Rails and allies - probably paraphyletic

  • Antillean cave rail, Nesotrochis debooyi, known by pre-Columbian bones from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Stories of an easy-to-catch bird named carrao heard by Alexander Wetmore in 1912 on Puerto Rico might refer to this species.
  • Hawkins' rail, Diaphorapteryx hawkinsi (Chatham Islands, SW Pacific, 19th century)
  • Red rail, Aphanapteryx bonasia (Mauritius, Mascarenes, c. 1700)
  • Rodrigues rail, Erythromachus leguati (Rodrigues, Mascarenes, mid-18th century)
  • Bar-winged rail, Nesoclopeus poecilopterus (Fiji, Polynesia, c. 1990)
  • Dieffenbach's rail, Gallirallus dieffenbachii (Chatham Islands, SW Pacific, mid-19th century)
  • Tahiti rail, Hypotaenidia pacificus (Tahiti, Society Islands, late 18th – 19th century)
  • Wake Island rail, Hypotaenidia wakensis (Wake Island, Micronesia, 1945)
  • Tongatapu rail, Gallirallus hypoleucus (Tongatapu, Tonga, late 18th - 19th century)
  • New Caledonian rail, Gallirallus lafresnanayanus (New Caledonia, Melanesia, c. 1900?)
    Officially classified as critically endangered, the last records were in 1984 and it seems that all available habitat is overrun by feral pigs and dogs, which prey on this bird.
  • Vava'u rail, Gallirallus cf. vekamatolu (Vava'u, Tonga, early 19th century?)
    This bird is known only from a drawing by the 1793 Malaspina expedition, apparently depicting a species of Gallirallus. The 'Eua rail, Gallirallus vekamatolu, is known from prehistoric bones found on 'Eua, but this species is almost certainly not G. vekamatolu, as that bird was flightless and hence is unlikely to have settled three distant islands. However, it probably was a close relative.
  • Norfolk Island rail, Gallirallus sp., may be the bird shown on a bad watercolor illustration made around 1800.
  • Chatham rail, Cabalus modestus (Chatham Islands, SW Pacific, c. 1900)
  • Réunion rail or Dubois' wood-rail, Dryolimnas augusti (Réunion, Mascarenes, late 17th century)
  • Ascension crake, Mundia elpenor (Ascension, Island, Atlantic, late 17th century)– formerly Atlantisia
  • Saint Helena crake, Porzana astrictocarpus (Saint Helena, Atlantic, early 16th century)
  • The Laysan rail was an omnivore
    Laysan rail, Porzana palmeri (Laysan Island, Hawaiian Islands, 1944)
  • Hawaiian rail, Porzana sandwichensis (Big Island, Hawaiian Islands, c. 1890)
  • Kosrae crake, Porzana monasa (Kosrae, Carolines, c. mid-late 19th century)
  • Tahiti crake, Porzana nigra (Tahiti, Society Islands, c. 1800)
    Known only from paintings and descriptions; taxonomic status uncertain, as the material is often believed to refer to the extant spotless crake.
  • Saint Helena swamphen, Aphanocrex podarces (Saint Helena, Atlantic, 16th century)– formerly Atlantisia
  • Lord Howe swamphen, Porphyrio albus (Lord Howe Island, SW Pacific, early 19th century)
  • Réunion swamphen or Oiseau bleu, Porphyrio coerulescens (Réunion, Mascarenes, 18th century)
    Known only from descriptions. Former existence of a Porphyrio on Réunion is fairly certain, but not proven to date.
  • Marquesas swamphen, Porphyrio paepae (Hiva Oa and Tahuata, Marquesas)
    May have survived to c. 1900. In the lower right corner of Paul Gauguin's 1902 painting Le Sorcier d'Hiva Oa ou le Marquisien à la cape rouge there is a bird which resembles native descriptions of P. paepae.
  • North Island takahē, Porphyrio mantelli, known from subfossil bones found in New Zealand's North Island; may have survived to 1894 or later.
  • New Caledonian gallinule, Porphyrio kukwiedei from New Caledonia, Melanesia, may have survived into historic times. The native name n'dino is thought to refer to this bird.
  • Samoan woodhen, Gallinula pacifica (Savai'i, Samoa, 1907?)
    Probably better placed in the genus Pareudiastes; unconfirmed reports from the late 20th century suggest it still survives in small numbers and therefore it is officially classified as critically endangered.
  • Makira woodhen, Gallinula silvestris (Makira, Solomon Islands, mid-20th century?)
    Only known from a single specimen, this rail is probably better placed in its own genus, Edithornis. There are some unconfirmed recent records that suggest it still survives, and thus it is officially classified as critically endangered.
  • Tristan moorhen, Gallinula nesiotis (Tristan da Cunha, Atlantic, late 19th century)
  • Mascarene coot, Fulica newtonii (Mauritius and Réunion, Mascarenes, c. 1700)
  • Fernando de Noronha rail, Rallidae gen. et sp. indet. (Fernando de Noronha, W. Atlantic, 16th century?)
    A distinct species of rail inhabited Fernando de Noronha island, but it has not been formally described yet. Probably was extant at first Western contact.
  • Tahitian "goose", Rallidae gen. et sp. indet. (Tahiti, late 18th century?)
    Early travelers to Tahiti reported a "goose" that was found in the mountains. Altogether, a species of rail in the genus Porphyrio seems to be the most likely choice.
  • Bokaak "bustard", Rallidae? gen. et sp. indet. 'Bokaak'
    An unidentified terrestrial bird is mentioned in an early report from Bokaak in the Marshall Islands. It is described as a "bustard" and may have been a rail or a megapode. In the former case it may have been a vagrant of an extant species; in any case, no bird that could be described as "bustard-like" is found on Bokaak today.[4]
  • Rallidae gen. et sp. indet. 'Amsterdam Island'
    Unknown rail from Amsterdam Island; one specimen found, but not recovered. Extinct by 1800, or it may have been a vagrant of an extant species.



  • Colombian grebe, Podiceps andinus (Bogotá area, Colombia, 1977)
  • Alaotra grebe, Tachybaptus rufolavatus (Lake Alaotra, Madagascar, 1985)
    Officially declared extinct in 2010, 25 years after the last official sighting. Declined through habitat destruction and hybridization with the little grebe. Disappeared from only known location in the 1980s.
  • Atitlán grebe, Podilymbus gigas (Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, 1989)


  • "Painted vulture", Sarcoramphus sacra (Florida, United States, late 18th century?)
    • A bird supposedly similar to the king vulture identified by William Bartram on his travels in the 1770s. Skeptics have stated that it is likely based on a misidentification of the northern caracara, although evidence has increasingly shifted towards it being a valid taxon that existed, either as a species in its own right or a subspecies of the king vulture, based on an independent illustration of a near-identical bird made several decades earlier by Eleazar Albin. See King vulture article for discussion.


Pelicans and related birds

  • Bermuda night heron, Nyctanassa carcinocatactes (Bermuda, West Atlantic, 17th century)
    Sometimes assigned to the genus Nycticorax.
  • Réunion night heron, Nycticorax duboisi (Réunion, Mascarenes, late 17th century)
  • Mauritius night heron, Nycticorax mauritianus (Mauritius, Mascarenes, c. 1700)
  • Rodrigues night heron, Nycticorax megacephalus (Rodrigues, Mascarenes, mid-18th century)
  • Ascension night heron, Nycticorax olsoni (Ascension Island, Atlantic, late 16th century?)
    Known only from subfossil bones, but the description of a flightless Ascension bird by André Thévet cannot be identified with anything other than this species.
  • New Zealand little bittern, Ixobrychus novaezelandiae (New Zealand, late 19th century)
    Long considered to be vagrant individuals of the Australian little bittern, bones recovered from Holocene deposits indicate that this was indeed a distinct taxon, but it might not be a separate species.
  • Réunion ibis, Threskiornis solitarius (Réunion, Mascarenes, early 18th century)
    This species was the basis of the "Réunion solitaire", a supposed relative of the dodo and the Rodrigues solitaire. Given the fact that ibis (but no dodo-like) bones were found on Réunion and that old descriptions match a flightless sacred ibis quite well, the "Réunion solitaire" hypothesis has been refuted.


Boobies and related birds

  • Spectacled cormorant, Phalacrocorax perspicillatus (Komandorski Islands, North Pacific, c. 1850)
  • Mascarene booby, Papasula sp. (Mauritius and Rodrigues, Mascarenes, mid-19th century)
    • An undescribed booby species that was formerly considered a population of Abbott's booby. Known physically only from subfossil bones, but is likely the bird referred to as a "boeuf" by early settlers. The "boeuf" was last recorded on Rodrigues in 1832 and likely went extinct following the deforestation of the island.


Petrels, shearwaters, albatrosses and storm petrels.



  • The Chatham penguin, Eudyptes sp. (Chatham Islands, SW Pacific), is only known from subfossil bones, but a bird kept captive at some time between 1867 and 1872 might refer to this taxon.


Pigeons, doves and dodos
For the "Réunion solitaire", see Réunion ibis.

  • Saint Helena dove, Dysmoropelia dekarchiskos, possibly survived into the Modern Era.
  • Passenger pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius (Eastern North America, 1914)
    The passenger pigeon was once among the most common birds in the world, a single flock numbering up to 2.2 billion birds. It was hunted close to extinction for food and sport in the late 19th century. The last individual, Martha, died in the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.
  • Bonin wood pigeon, Columba versicolor (Nakodo-jima and Chichi-jima, Ogasawara Islands, c. 1890)
  • Ryukyu wood pigeon, Columba jouyi (Okinawa and Daito Islands, Northwest Pacific, late 1930s)
  • Réunion pink pigeon, Nesoenas duboisi (Réunion, Mascarenes, c. 1700)
    Formerly in Streptopelia. There seems to have been at least another species of pigeon on Réunion (probably an Alectroenas), but bones have not yet been found. It disappeared at the same time.
  • Rodrigues pigeon, Nesoenas rodericana (Rodrigues, Mascarenes, before 1690?)
    Formerly in Streptopelia. A possible subspecies of the Madagascar turtle dove (N. picturata), this seems not to be the bird observed by Leguat. Introduced rats might have killed it off in the late 17th century.
  • Spotted green pigeon, "Caloenas" maculata (South Pacific or Indian Ocean islands, 1820s)
    Also known as the Liverpool pigeon, the only known specimen has been in Liverpool's World Museum since 1851, and was probably collected on a Pacific island for Edward Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby. It has been suggested that this bird came from Tahiti based on native lore about a somewhat similar extinct bird called the titi, but this has not been verified.
  • Sulu bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba menagei (Tawitawi, Philippines, late 1990s?)
    Officially listed as critically endangered. Only known from two specimens taken in 1891. There have been a number of unconfirmed reports from all over the Sulu Archipelago in 1995, however, these reports stated that the bird had suddenly undergone a massive decline, and by now, habitat destruction is almost complete. If not extinct, this species is very rare, but the ongoing civil war prevents comprehensive surveys.
  • Norfolk ground dove, Gallicolumba norfolciensis (Norfolk Island, Southwest Pacific, c. 1800)
  • Tanna ground dove, Gallicolumba ferruginea (Tanna, Vanuatu, late 18th-19th century)
    Only known from descriptions of two now-lost specimens.
  • Thick-billed ground dove, Gallicolumba salamonis (Makira and Ramos, Solomon Islands, mid-20th century?)
    Last recorded in 1927, only two specimens exist. Declared extinct in 2005.
  • Choiseul pigeon, Microgoura meeki (Choiseul, Solomon Islands, early 20th century)
  • Red-moustached fruit dove, Ptilinopus mercierii (Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa, Marquesas, mid-20th century)
    Two subspecies, the little-known P. m. mercierii of Nuku Hiva (extinct mid-late 19th century) and P. m. tristrami of Hiva Oa.
  • Negros fruit dove, Ptilinopus arcanus (Negros, Philippines, late 20th century?)
    Known only from one specimen taken at the only documented sighting in 1953, the validity of this species has been questioned, but no good alternative to distinct species status has been proposed. Officially critically endangered, it might occur on Panay, but no survey has located it. One possible record in 2002 does not seem to have been repeated.
  • Mauritius blue pigeon, Alectroenas nitidissima (Mauritius, Mascarenes, c. 1830s)
  • Farquhar blue pigeon, Alectroenas sp. (Farquhar Group, Seychelles, 19th century)
    Only known from early reports; possibly a subspecies of the Comoros or Seychelles blue pigeon.
  • Rodrigues grey pigeon, "Alectroenas" rodericana (Rodrigues, Mascarenes, mid-18th century)
    A mysterious bird of unknown affinities, known from a few bones and, as it seems, two historical reports.
  • Dodo, Raphus cucullatus (Mauritius, Mascarenes, late 17th century)
    Called Didus ineptus by Linnaeus. A metre-high flightless bird found on Mauritius. Its forest habitat was lost when Dutch settlers moved to the island and the dodo's nests were destroyed by the monkeys, pigs and cats that the Dutch brought with them. The last specimen was killed in 1681, only 80 years after the arrival of the new predators.
  • Rodrigues solitaire, Pezophaps solitaria (Rodrigues, Mascarenes, c. 1730)



Mounted specimen of Conuropsis carolinensis, Museum Wiesbaden, Germany
This bird has a very restricted distribution and was last reliably recorded in 1949. It was not found during searches in 2004 and 2006 and seems to be extinct; efforts to find it again continue, but are hampered by the threat of armed conflict.
  • New Caledonian lorikeet, Charmosyna diadema (New Caledonia, Melanesia, mid-20th century?)
    Officially critically endangered, there have been no reliable reports of this bird since the early 20th century. It is, however, small and inconspicuous.
  • Norfolk kaka, Nestor productus (Norfolk and Philip Islands, SW Pacific, 1851?)
  • Society parakeet, Cyanoramphus ulietanus (Raiatea, Society Islands, late 18th century)
  • Black-fronted parakeet, Cyanoramphus zealandicus (Tahiti, Society Islands, c. 1850)
  • Paradise parrot, Psephotus pulcherrimus (Rockhampton area, Australia, late 1920s)
  • Oceanic eclectus parrot, Eclectus infectus, known from subfossil bones found on Tonga, Vanuatu, and possibly Fiji, may have survived until the 18th century: a bird which seems to be a male Eclectus parrot was drawn in a report on the Tongan island of Vavaʻu by the Malaspina expedition. Also a 19th-century Tongan name ʻāʻā ("parrot") for "a beautiful bird found only at ʻEua" is attested (see here[5] under "kaka"). This seems to refer either E. infectus which in Tonga is only known from Vavaʻu and ʻEua, or the extirpated population of the collared lory which also occurred there. It is possible but unlikely that the species survived on ʻEua until the 19th century.
  • Seychelles parakeet, Psittacula wardi (Seychelles, W Indian Ocean, 1883)
  • Newton's parakeet, Psittacula exsul (Rodrigues, Mascarenes, c. 1875)
  • Mascarene grey parakeet, Psittacula bensoni (Mauritius, possible Réunion as Psittacula cf bensoni). Formerly described as Mauritius grey parrot, Lophopsittacus bensoni. Known from a 1602 sketch by Captain Willem van Westzanen and by subfossil bones described by David Thomas Holyoak in 1973. Might have survived to the mid-18th century.
  • Mascarene parrot, Mascarinus mascarin (Réunion and possibly Mauritius, Mascarenes, 1834?)
    Last known individual was a captive bird which was alive before 1834.
  • Broad-billed parrot, Lophopsittacus mauritianus (Mauritius, Mascarenes, 1680?)
    May have survived to the late 18th century.
  • Rodrigues parrot, Necropsittacus rodericanus (Rodrigues, Mascarenes, late 18th century)
    The species N. francicus is fictional, N. borbonicus most likely so.
  • Glaucous macaw, Anodorhynchus glaucus (N Argentina, early 20th century)
    Officially critically endangered due to persistent rumors of wild birds, but probably extinct.
  • Cuban macaw, Ara tricolor (Cuba,late 19th century)
    A number of related species have been described from the West Indies, but are not based on good evidence. Several prehistoric forms are now known to have existed in the region, however.
  • Carolina parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis (SE North America, c. 1930?)
    Although the date of the last captive bird's death in the Cincinnati Zoo, 1918, is generally given as its extinction date, there are convincing reports of some wild populations persisting until later. Two subspecies, C. c. carolinensis (Carolina parakeet, east and south of the Appalachian range–extinct 1918 or c. 1930) and C. c. ludovicianus (Louisiana parakeet, west of the Appalachian range–extinct c. 1912).
  • Guadeloupe parakeet, Aratinga labati (Guadeloupe, West Indies, late 18th century)
    Only known from descriptions, the former existence of this bird is likely for biogeographic reasons and because details as described cannot be referred to known species.
  • Martinique amazon, Amazona martinica (Martinique, West Indies, mid-18th century)
  • Guadeloupe amazon, Amazona violacea (Guadeloupe, West Indies, mid-18th century)
    These extinct amazon parrots were originally described after travelers' descriptions. Their existence is still controversial.




Birds of prey


Typical owls and barn owls.

  • Pernambuco pygmy owl, Glaucidium mooreorum (Pernambuco, Brazil, 2001?[6])
    Might still exist, classified as critically endangered. A 2018 BirdLife study citing extinction patterns recommended reclassifying this species as possibly extinct.
  • Réunion scops owl, Mascarenotus grucheti (Réunion, Mascarenes, late 17th century?)
  • Mauritius scops owl, Mascarenotus sauzieri (Mauritius, Mascarenes, c. 1850)
  • Rodrigues scops owl, Mascarenotus murivorus (Rodrigues, Mascarenes, mid-18th century)
    The preceding three species were variously placed in Bubo, Athene, "Scops" (=Otus), Strix and Tyto before their true affinity was realized.
  • New Caledonian boobook, Ninox cf. novaeseelandiae (New Caledonia, Melanesia)
    Known only from prehistoric bones, but might still survive.
  • Laughing owl, Sceloglaux albifacies (New Zealand, 1914?)
    Two subspecies, S. a. albifacies (South Island and Stewart Island, extinct 1914?) and S. a. rufifacies (North Island, extinct c. 1870s?); circumstantial evidence suggests that small remnants survived until the early/mid-20th century.
  • The Puerto Rican barn owl, Tyto cavatica, known from prehistoric remains found in caves of Puerto Rico, West Indies; may still have existed in 1912, given reports of the presence of cave-roosting owls.
  • The Andros Island barn owl, Tyto pollens, known from prehistoric remains found on Andros (Bahamas); may have survived to the 16th century, as indicated by the "chickcharney" legend.
  • Siau scops owl, Otus siaoensis (20th century?)
    Only known from the holotype collected in 1866. Endemic to the small volcanic island of Siau north of Sulawesi in Indonesia; might still survive, as there are ongoing rumors of scops owls at Siau.


Caprimulgidae - nightjars and nighthawks
Reclusive ground-nesting birds that sally out at night to hunt for large insects and similar prey. They are easily located by the males' song, but this is not given all year. Habitat destruction represents currently the biggest threat, while island populations are threatened by introduced mammalian predators, notably dogs, cats, pigs and mongooses.

  • Jamaican poorwill, Siphonorhis americana (Jamaica, West Indies, late 19th century?)
    Reports of unidentifiable nightjars from the 1980s in habitat appropriate for S. americana suggest that this cryptic species may still exist. Research into this possibility is currently underway; pending further information, it is classified as critically endangered, possibly extinct.
  • Cuban pauraque, Siphonorhis daiquiri (Cuba, West Indies, prehistoric?)
    Described from subfossil bones in 1985. There are persistent rumors that this bird, which was never seen alive by scientists, may still survive. Compare Puerto Rican nightjar and preceding.
  • Vaurie's nightjar (Caprimulgus centralasicus) is only known from a single 1929 specimen from Xinjiang, China. It has never been found again, but the validity of this supposed species is seriously disputed. It was never refuted to be an immature female desert European nightjar.


Swifts and hummingbirds

  • Coppery thorntail, Discosura letitiae (Bolivia?)
    Known only from three trade specimens of unknown origin. Might still exist.
  • Brace's emerald, Chlorostilbon bracei (New Providence, Bahamas, late 19th century)
  • Gould's emerald, Chlorostilbon elegans (Jamaica or northern Bahamas, West Indies, late 19th century)
  • Turquoise-throated puffleg, Eriocnemis godini (Ecuador, 20th century?)
    Officially classified as critically endangered, possibly extinct. Known only from six pre-1900 specimens, the habitat at the only known site where it occurred has been destroyed. However, the bird's distribution remains unresolved.


Kingfishers and related birds


Woodpeckers and related birds

Known only from fossils found in Bermuda and dated to the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene; however, a 17th century report written by explorer Captain John Smith may refer to this species.
This 60-centimetre-long woodpecker is officially listed as critically endangered, possibly extinct. Occasional unconfirmed reports come up, the most recent was in late 2005.


Perching birds

Furnariidae- Ovenbirds

Lyall's wren, victim of feral cats

Acanthisittidae– New Zealand "wrens"

  • Lyall's wren, Traversia lyalli (New Zealand, 1895?)
    The species famously (but erroneously) claimed to have been made extinct by a single cat named "Tibbles".
  • Bushwren, Xenicus longipes (New Zealand, 1972)
    Three subspecies: X. l. stokesi (North Island, extinct 1955); X. l. longipes (South Island, extinct 1968); X. l. variabilis (Stewart Island, extinct 1972).

Mohoidae – Hawaiian "honeyeaters". Family established in 2008, previously in Meliphagidae.

Meliphagidae – honeyeaters and Australian chats

  • Chatham bellbird, Anthornis melanocephala (Chatham Islands, Southwest Pacific, c. 1910)
    Sometimes regarded as a subspecies of the New Zealand bellbird, Anthornis melanura. Unconfirmed records exist from the early-mid-1950s.
  • The identity of "Strigiceps leucopogon" (an invalid name),[7] described by Lesson in 1840, is unclear. Apart from the holotype supposedly from "New Holland", a second specimen from the "Himalaya" may have existed (or still exist). Lesson tentatively allied it to the Meliphagidae, and Rothschild felt reminded of the kioea.

Acanthizidae – scrubwrens, thornbills, and gerygones

Pachycephalidae – whistlers, shrike-thrushes, pitohuis and allies

  • Mangarevan whistler, ?Pachycephala gambierana (Mangareva, Gambier Islands, late 19th century?)
    Tentatively placed here. A mysterious bird of which no specimens exist today. It was initially described as a shrike, then classified as an Eopsalteria "robin" and may actually be an Acrocephalus warbler.

Dicruridae – monarch flycatchers and allies

  • Maupiti monarch, Pomarea pomarea (Maupiti, Society Islands, mid-19th century)
  • Eiao monarch, Pomarea fluxa (Eiao, Marquesas, late 1970s)
    Previously considered a subspecies of the Iphis monarch, this is an early offspring of the Marquesan stock.
  • Nuku Hiva monarch, Pomarea nukuhivae (Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, mid-late 20th century)
    Previously considered a subspecies of the Marquesas monarch, this is another early offspring of the Marquesan stock.
  • Ua Pou monarch, Pomarea mira (Ua Pou, Marquesas, c. 1986)
    Previously considered another subspecies of the Marquesas monarch, this was a distinct species most closely related to that bird and the Fatuhiva monarch.
  • Guam flycatcher, Myiagra freycineti (Guam, Marianas, 1983)

Oriolidae – Old World orioles and allies

  • North Island piopio, Turnagra tanagra (North Island, New Zealand, c. 1970?)
    Not reliably recorded since about 1900.
  • South Island piopio, Turnagra capensis (South Island, New Zealand, 1960s?)
    Two subspecies, T. c. minor from Stephens Island (extinct c. 1897) and the nominate T. c. capensis from the South Island mainland (last specimen taken in 1902, last unconfirmed record in 1963)

Callaeidae – New Zealand wattlebirds

Male (front) and female (back) Huia
  • Huia, Heteralocha acutirostris (North Island, New Zealand, early 20th century)

Hirundinidae – swallows and martins

  • White-eyed river martin, Pseudochelidon sirintarae (Thailand, late 1980s?)
    Officially classified as critically endangered, this enigmatic species is only known from migrating birds and it was last seen in 1986 at its former roost site. Recent unconfirmed reports suggest that it may occur in Cambodia.
  • Red Sea cliff swallow, Petrochelidon perdita (Red Sea area, late 20th century?)
    Known from a single specimen, this enigmatic swallow probably still exists, but the lack of recent records is puzzling. It is alternatively placed in the genus Hirundo.

Acrocephalidae – marsh and tree warblers

  • Nightingale reed warbler, Acrocephalus luscinius (Guam, c. 1970's)
  • Aguiguan reed warbler, Acrocephalus nijoi (Aguiguan, Marianas, c. 1997)
  • Mangareva reed warbler, Acrocephalus astrolabii (Marianas?, mid-19th century?)
    Known from just two specimens found from Mangareva Island in the western Pacific.
  • Pagan reed warbler, Acrocephalus yamashinae (Pagan, Marianas, 1970s)
  • Garrett's reed warbler, Acrocephalus musae (Society Islands, 19th century?)
  • Moorea reed warbler, Acrocephalus longirostris (Moorea, Society Islands, 1980s?)
    Last reliable sighting was in 1981. Survey in 1986/1987 remained unsuccessful. A photograph of a warbler from Moorea in 1998 or 1999 taken by Philippe Bacchet remains uncertain, as do reports from 2003 and 2010.

Muscicapidae – Old World flycatchers and chats

  • Rück's blue flycatcher, Cyornis ruckii (Malaysia or Indochina, 20th century?)
    An enigmatic bird known from two or four possibly migrant specimens, last recorded in 1918. Might exist in northeast Indochina and might be a subspecies of the Hainan blue flycatcher.

Megaluridae – megalurid warblers or grass warblers

  • Chatham fernbird, Bowdleria rufescens (Chatham Islands, New Zealand, c. 1900)
    Often placed in genus Megalurus, but this is based on an incomplete review of the evidence.

Cisticolidae – cisticolas and allies

  • Tana River cisticola, Cisticola restrictus (Kenya, 1970s?)
    A mysterious bird, found in the Tana River basin in small numbers at various dates, but not since 1972. Probably invalid, based on aberrant or hybrid specimens. An unconfirmed sighting was apparently made in 2007 in the Tana River Delta.

Zosteropidae – white-eyes - probably belonging to Timaliidae

Pycnonotidae – bulbuls

  • Rodrigues bulbul, Hypsipetes cowlesi (Rodrigues, Mascarenes, extinction date unknown, 17th century or 18th century might be possible)
    Known only from subfossil bones.

Sylvioidea incertae sedis

Sturnidae – starlings

  • Kosrae starling, Aplonis corvina (Kosrae, Carolines, mid-19th century)
  • Mysterious starling, Aplonis mavornata (Mauke, Cook Islands, mid-19th century)
  • Tasman starling, Aplonis fusca (Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island, Southwest Pacific, c. 1923)
    Two subspecies, A. f. fuscaNorfolk starling (extinct c. 1923); A. fusca hullianaLord Howe starling (extinct c. 1919).
  • Pohnpei starling, Aplonis pelzelni (Pohnpei, Micronesia, c. 2000)
    Only one reliable record since 1956, in 1995, leaves the species' survival seriously in doubt.
  • Bay starling, Aplonis? ulietensis (Raiatea, Society Islands, between 1774 and 1850)
    Usually called "bay thrush" (Turdus ulietensis); a mysterious bird from Raiatea, now only known from a painting and some descriptions of a (now lost) specimen. Its taxonomic position is thus unresolvable at present, although for biogeographic reasons and because of the surviving description, it has been suggested to have been a honeyeater. However, with the discovery of fossils of the prehistorically extinct starling Aplonis diluvialis on neighboring Huahine, it seems likely that this bird also belonged to this genus.
  • Hoopoe starling, Fregilupus varius (Réunion, Mascarenes, 1850s)
    Tentatively assigned to Sturnidae.
  • Rodrigues starling, Necropsar rodericanus (Rodrigues, Mascarenes, mid-18th century?)
    Tentatively assigned to Sturnidae. The bird variously described as Necropsar leguati or Orphanopsar leguati and considered to be identical with N. rodericanus (which is only known from subfossil bones) was found to be based on a misidentified albinistic specimen of the Martinique trembler (Cinclocerthia gutturalis)

Turdidae – thrushes and relatives

  • Grand Cayman thrush, Turdus ravidus (Grand Cayman, West Indies, late 1940s)
  • Bonin thrush, Zoothera terrestris (Chichi-jima, Ogasawara Islands, c. 1830s)
  • Kāmaʻo, Myadestes myadestinus (Kauaʻi, Hawaiian Islands, 1990s)
  • Olomaʻo, Myadestes lanaiensis (Hawaiian Islands, 1980s?)
    Officially classified as critically endangered because a possible location on Molokaʻi remains unsurveyed. Three subspecies are known from Oahu (M. l. woahensis, extinct 1850s), Lanaʻi (M. l. lanaiensis, extinct early 1930s), Molokaʻi (M. l. rutha, extinct 1980s?) and a possible fourth subspecies from Maui (extinct before late 19th century).

Mimidae – mockingbirds and thrashers

  • Cozumel thrasher, Toxostoma guttatum (Cozumel, Caribbean, early first decade of the 21st century?)
    It is still unknown whether the tiny population rediscovered in 2004 survived Hurricanes Emily and Wilma in 2005. Unconfirmed records in April 2006 and October and December 2007.

Estrildidae– estrildid finches (waxbills, munias, etc.

  • Black-lored waxbill, Estrilda nigriloris (D.R. Congo, Africa, late 20th century?)
    An enigmatic waxbill not seen since 1950; because part of its habitat is in Upemba National Park, it may survive.

Icteridae – grackles

Parulidae – New World warblers

Ploceidae – weavers

  • Réunion fody, Foudia delloni
    Formerly Foudia bruante, which might refer to a color morph of the red fody.

Fringillidae – true finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers

  • Bonin grosbeak, Chaunoproctus ferreorostris (Chichi-jima, Ogasawara Islands, 1830s)
  • ʻŌʻū, Psittirostra psittacea (Hawaiian Islands, c. 2000?)
    Officially classified as critically endangered, this was once the most widespread species of Hawaiian honeycreeper. It has not been reliably recorded since 1987 or 1989.
  • Lanaʻi hookbill, Dysmorodrepanis munroi (Lanaʻi, Hawaiian Islands, 1918)
  • Pila's palila, Loxioides kikuichi (Kauaʻi, Hawaiian Islands), possibly survived to the early 18th century.
  • Lesser koa finch, Rhodacanthus flaviceps (Big Island, Hawaiian Islands, 1891)
  • Greater koa finch, Rhodacanthus palmeri (Big Island, Hawaiian Islands, 1896)
  • Kona grosbeak, Psittirostra kona (Big Island, Hawaiian Islands, 1894)
  • Greater ʻamakihi, Hemignathus sagittirostris (Big Island, Hawaiian Islands, 1901)
  • Maui nukupuʻu, Hemignathus affinis (Maui, Hawaiian Islands, 1990s)
  • Kauaʻi nukupuʻu, Hemignathus hanapepe (Kauaʻi, Hawaiian Islands, late 1990s)
  • Oʻahu nukupuʻu, Hemignathus lucidus (Oʻahu, Hawaiian Islands, late 19th century)
  • Hawaiʻi ʻakialoa or lesser ʻakialoa, Akialoa obscurus (Big Island, Hawaiian Islands, 1940)
  • Maui Nui ʻakialoa, Akialoa lanaiensis (Lanaʻi and, prehistorically, probably Maui and Molokaʻi, Hawaiian Islands, 1892)
  • Oʻahu ʻakialoa, Akialoa ellisiana (Oʻahu, Hawaiian Islands, early 20th century)
  • Kauaʻi ʻakialoa, Akialoa stejnegeri (Kauaʻi, Hawaiian Islands, 1969)
  • Molokai creeper (kākāwahie)
    Kakawahie, Paroreomyza flammea (Molokaʻi, Hawaiian Islands, 1963)
  • Oʻahu ʻalauahio, Paroreomyza maculata (Oʻahu, Hawaiian Islands, early 1990s?)
    Officially classified as critically endangered. Last reliable record was in 1985, with an unconfirmed sighting in 1990.
  • Maui ʻakepa, Loxops ochraceus (Maui, Hawaiian Islands, 1988)
  • Oʻahu ʻakepa, Loxops wolstenholmei (Oʻahu, Hawaiian Islands, 1900s)
  • ʻUla-ʻai-hawane, Ciridops anna (Big Island, Hawaiian Islands, 1892 or 1937)
  • Black mamo, Drepanis funerea (Molokaʻi, Hawaiian Islands, 1907)
  • Hawaiʻi mamo, Drepanis pacifica (Big Island, Hawaiian Islands, 1898)
  • Laysan honeycreeper, Himatione fraithii (Laysan, Hawaiian Islands, 1923)
  • Poʻo-uli, Melamprosops phaeosoma (Maui, Hawaiian Islands, 2004)

Emberizidae – buntings and American sparrows

Possibly extinct bird subspecies or status unknown[edit]

Extinction of subspecies is a subject very dependent on guesswork. National and international conservation projects and research publications such as redlists usually focus on species as a whole. Reliable information on the status of threatened subspecies usually has to be assembled piecemeal from published observations, such as regional checklists. Therefore, the following listing contains a high proportion of taxa that may still exist, but are listed here due to any combination of absence of recent records, a known threat such as habitat destruction, or an observed decline.


Ratites and related birds

The last record of this ostrich subspecies was a bird found dead in Jordan in 1966.


A doubtfully distinct little spotted kiwi subspecies.


  • King Island emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae minor (King Island, Australia, 1822)
A dwarf subspecies of the emu; extinct in the wild c. 1805, the last captive specimen died in 1822 in the Jardin des Plantes.
A dwarf subspecies of the emu; extinct since c. 1827.
  • Tasmanian emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae diemenensis (Tasmania, Australia, mid-19th century)
A dwarf subspecies of the emu; the last wild bird was collected in 1845. It may have persisted in captivity until 1884. It may be invalid.



  • Magdalena tinamou, Crypturellus (erythropus) saltuarius (Colombia, late 20th century?)
Variously considered a red-legged tinamou subspecies or a distinct species, this bird is currently only known with certainty from the 1943 type specimen. An additional specimen exists (or existed), but its present whereabouts is unknown. Recent research suggest that it is still extant and there was a likely – although as yet unconfirmed – record near the type locality by Colombian ornithologist Oswaldo Cortés in late 2008.


Ducks, geese and swans

  • Bering cackling goose, Branta hutchinsii asiatica (Komandorski and Kuril Islands, N Pacific, c. 1914 or 1929)
A subspecies of the cackling goose (formerly called the Bering Canada goose (Branta canadensis asiatica)) which is doubtfully distinct from the Aleutian subspecies.
  • Rennell Island teal, Anas gibberifrons remissa (Rennell, Solomon Islands, c. 1959)
  • Pink-headed duck, Rhodonessa caryophyllacea (East India, Bangladesh, North Myanmar, 1945?)– a reclassification into the genus Netta is recommended, but not generally accepted.
    Officially critically endangered; recent surveys have failed to rediscover it, though sightings continue to be reported.
A doubtfully distinct subspecies of the Sunda teal, which disappeared due to predation on young birds by introduced tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus).
  • Niceforo's pintail, Anas georgica niceforoi (Colombia, 1950s)
A yellow-billed pintail subspecies that has not been recorded since the 1950s.
  • Borrero's cinnamon teal, Anas cyanoptera borreroi (Colombia, mid-20th century?)
A subspecies of the cinnamon teal known only from a restricted area in the Cordillera Occidental of Colombia, with a couple of records from Ecuador. It was discovered in 1946 and thought to be extinct by 1956.
  • Coues' gadwall, Anas strepera couesi (Teraina, Kiribati, c.1900)
This island subspecies of the gadwall was discovered in 1874 and has not been recorded since, with none found by a 1924 expedition from Honolulu's Bishop Museum.


Quails and relatives

  • Italian grey partridge, Perdix perdix italica (Italy, 1980s)
A subspecies of the grey partridge whose validity has been questioned; the last purebred individuals disappeared during the late 1980s due to hybridization with introduced birds.
  • Lake Amik black francolin, Francolinus francolinus billypayni (S Turkey, possibly Lebanon, 1960s)
A doubtfully distinct subspecies of the black francolin.
  • Sicilian black francolin, Francolinus francolinus ssp. (Sicily, Mediterranean, c.1869)
Another doubtfully distinct black francolin subspecies.
  • Heath hen, Tympanuchus cupido cupido, (New England, North America, 1932)
A subspecies of the greater prairie-chicken or possibly a distinct species.
  • New Mexico sharp-tailed grouse, Tympanuchus phasianellus hueyi (New Mexico, North America, 1950s)
A sharp-tailed grouse subspecies, last recorded in Colfax County in 1952.
  • Moroccan guineafowl, Numida meleagris sabyi (Morocco, mid-late 20th century?)
A subspecies of the helmeted guineafowl. Reportedly still kept in captivity in Morocco in the late 1990s. Possibly extinct in the wild by 1950, three records from the 1970s may refer to feral-domestic hybrids.


Shorebirds, gulls and auks

  • Kiritimati sandpiper, Prosobonia cancellata cancellata (Kiritimati, Kiribati, 19th century?)
The doubtfully distinct nominate subspecies of the Tuamotu sandpiper, sometimes considered a distinct species, but only known from a painting.
  • Andalusian hemipode, Turnix sylvatica sylvatica (Mediterranean region, extant)
The nominate subspecies of the small buttonquail has been considered likely extinct, having last been recorded in Spain in 1981. However, it was confirmed extant with the discovery of a population in Morocco in 2007.
  • Tawitawi small buttonquail, Turnix sylvatica suluensis (Tawitawi, Philippines, mid-20th century?)
A small buttonquail subspecies. It has not been recorded since the 1950s, but there have been few surveys and it is likely to persist.
  • New Caledonia painted buttonquail, Turnix varius novaecaledoniae (New Caledonia, Melanesia, early 20th century?)
A subspecies of the painted buttonquail that has been variously considered anything from a hybrid between introduced species to a full species. Plentiful subfossil bones indicate that it was indeed a good endemic form. The last specimen was taken in 1912 and surveys since have failed to record it.


Rails and allies - probably paraphyletic

  • Goldman's yellow rail, Coturnicops noveboracensis goldmani (Mexico, late 20th century?)
A yellow rail subspecies that has not been recorded since 1964 and lost much of its wetland habitat.
  • Macquarie rail, Gallirallus philippensis macquariensis (Macquarie Islands, southwest Pacific, 1880s)
Buff-banded rail subspecies.
  • Raoul Island banded rail, Gallirallus philippensis ssp. (Raoul, Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific, late 19th century?)
Reports of the former occurrence of the species on Raoul seem plausible enough, but they may relate to vagrant individuals of another buff-banded rail subspecies.
  • Peruvian rail, Rallus semiplumbeus peruvianus (Peru, 20th century?)
A subspecies of the Bogota rail which is known from a single specimen collected in the 1880s. It may still be extant.
A subspecies of Lewin's rail not recorded since 1932 despite multiple surveys in the late 20th century.
  • Assumption white-throated rail, Dryolimnas cuvieri abbotti (Assumption, Astove and Cosmoledo, Aldabra Islands, early 20th century)
A white-throated rail subspecies.
  • Jamaican uniform crake, Amaurolimnas concolor concolor (Jamaica, West Indies, late 19th century)
The uniform crake's nominate subspecies declined rapidly to extinction following the introduction of the small Asian mongoose to Jamaica in 1872.
  • Intact rail, Gymnocrex plumbeiventris intactus (Melanesia, 20th century?)
A doubtfully distinct subspecies of the bare-eyed rail known from a single specimen, c. mid-19th century, from the Solomon Islands or New Ireland. The taxon may be extant.
  • Bornean Baillon's crake, Porzana pusilla mira (Borneo, 20th century?)
A subspecies of Baillon's crake known from a single 1912 specimen and not found since; may be extinct, but the species is hard to find.
  • Moroccan bustard, Ardeotis arabs lynesi (Morocco, late 20th century?)
A subspecies of the Arabian bustard. Last observed in 1993 at Lac Merzouga/Lac Tamezguidat.
  • Luzon sarus crane, Antigone antigone luzonica (Luzon, Philippines, late 1960s)
A subspecies of the sarus crane which is not always accepted as valid, possibly because the existing specimens have not been thoroughly studied since it was described.


Herons and related birds - possibly paraphyletic

A nankeen night heron subspecies.
  • Principe olive ibis, Bostrychia olivacea rothschildi (Principe, Gulf of Guinea, extant)
A subspecies of the olive ibis or (as B. bocagei rothschildi) the São Tomé ibis if this is considered a distinct species. It was unrecorded through most of the 20th century and has been considered extinct, but was recorded on multiple occasions in the 1990s and should now be considered extant.



  • Fayyum sandgrouse, Pterocles exustus floweri (Fayyum area, Egypt, late 20th century?)
This subspecies of the chestnut-bellied sandgrouse was last recorded in 1979 and is likely to have gone extinct since.


Pigeons, doves and dodos

A subspecies of the wood pigeon.
  • Ogasawara Japanese wood pigeon, Columba janthina nitens (Ogasawara Islands, Northwest Pacific, extant)
Japanese wood pigeon subspecies thought to have gone extinct in the 1980s, but there have been recent reports and photographs and the taxon is now considered extant, though very rare.
  • Lord Howe pigeon, Columba vitiensis godmanae (Lord Howe Island, Southwest Pacific, 1853)
Metallic pigeon subspecies last recorded in 1853 and almost certainly extinct by 1869.
  • Tongan metallic pigeon, Columba vitiensis ssp. (Vava'u, Tonga, late 18th century?)
This subspecies of the metallic pigeon is only known from a footnote in John Latham's General History of Birds and seems to have died out some time before 1800; possibly, the location is erroneous and the note really refers to the extant population on Fiji.
  • Amirante turtle-dove, Nesoenas picturata aldabrana (Amirante Islands, Seychelles, late 20th century)
This subspecies of the Malagasy turtle dove persisted until at least 1974, after which it was hybridised out of existence through breeding with the introduced nominate subspecies.
  • Catanduanes bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba luzonica rubiventris (Catanduanes, Philippines, late 20th century?)
A subspecies of the Luzon bleeding-heart known from a single specimen collected in 1971. There have been recent reports of the taxon and, as much of its forest habitat remains, it is likely to be extant.
  • Basilan bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba crinigera bartletti (Basilan, Philippines, mid-20th century?)
A subspecies of the Mindanao bleeding-heart, it was last reported in 1925 and given the massive habitat destruction is likely extinct.
  • Vella Lavella ground dove, Gallicolumba jobiensis chalconota (Vella Lavella, Makira and Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, late 20th century?)
A subspecies of the white-breasted ground dove or possibly a distinct species. Known from only four specimens, there are no recent records and the local population report it has disappeared.
  • White-headed Polynesian ground dove, Gallicolumba erythroptera albicollis (Central Tuamotu Islands, 20th century?)
The Central Tuamotu subspecies of the Polynesian ground dove, often referred to as G. e. pectoralis, disappeared at an undetermined date, but might still exist on some unsurveyed atolls. The identity of northern Tuamotu populations, possibly still extant, is undetermined.
  • Ebon crimson-crowned fruit dove, Ptilinopus porphyraceus marshallianus (Ebon?, Marshall Islands, late 19th century?)
Crimson-crowned fruit dove subspecies of doubtful validity. Known from a single specimen collected in 1859; it is not certain whether this bird actually occurred on Ebon. All that can be said is that this subspecies is no longer found anywhere.
  • Mauke fruit dove, Ptilinopus rarotongensis "byronensis" (Mauke, Cook Islands, mid- or late 19th century)
A subspecies of the lilac-crowned fruit dove, known only from the description of a now-lost specimen. The prehistorically extinct population on Mangaia is likely to belong to another distinct subspecies too.
  • Negros spotted imperial pigeon, Ducula carola nigrorum (Negros and probably Siquijor, late 20th century?)
Spotted imperial pigeon subspecies not recorded since the 1950s.
  • Norfolk pigeon, Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae spadicea (Norfolk Island, Southwest Pacific, early 20th century)
A subspecies of the New Zealand pigeon not recorded since 1900. Similar birds were reported from Lord Howe Island; these seem to represent another extinct subspecies, but are undescribed to date.
  • Raoul Island kereru, Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae ssp. nov. (Raoul, Kermadec Islands, 19th century)
Another undescribed subspecies (or possibly species) of the New Zealand pigeon, known from bones and a brief report.[8]



  • Sangir red and blue lory, Eos histrio histrio (Sangir Archipelago, Indonesia, 1990s?)
The nominate subspecies of the red-and-blue lory was hybridized out of existence by escaped trade individuals of the subspecies talautensis, the last purebred individuals disappearing in the 1990s or even much earlier.
  • Challenger's lory, Eos histrio challengeri (Nenusa Islands, Talaud Archipelago, early 20th century?)
A supposed subspecies of the red and blue lory, but probably invalid.
  • Macquarie parakeet, Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae erythrotis (Macquarie Islands, SW Pacific, 1890s)
Red-crowned parakeet subspecies last recorded in 1890 and not found by surveys in 1894.
  • Lord Howe parakeet, Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae subflavescens (Lord Howe Island, SW Pacific, c. 1870)
Red-crowned parakeet subspecies.
Known only from a painting and descriptions; if it is accepted as valid, it would become the nominate subspecies of the Mauritius parakeet, extant on Mauritius, which would then have to be called P. eques echo.
  • Siquijor colasisi, Loriculus philippensis siquijorensis (Siquijor, Philippines, 20th century?)
A subspecies of the colasisi or Philippine hanging parrot, either very rare or already extinct.
  • Puerto Rican conure, Aratinga chloroptera maugei (Mona and possibly Puerto Rico, West Indies, 1890s)
A weakly differentiated subspecies of the Hispaniolan parakeet.
  • Sinú brown-throated parakeet, Aratinga pertinax griseipecta (Colombia, mid- or late 20th century?)
A subspecies of the brown-throated parakeet known from only two specimens collected in 1949 and of unclear taxonomical and conservation status.
  • Culebra amazon, Amazona vittata gracilipes (Culebra, West Indies, early 20th century)
A weakly differentiated subspecies of the Puerto Rican amazon, which is itself highly endangered.



  • Greater crested coua, Coua cristata maxima (SE Madagascar, late 20th century?)
Crested coua subspecies, known only from a single specimen taken in 1950. It may be a hybrid, but if not it is probably extinct.
  • Assumption Island coucal, Centropus toulou assumptionis (Assumption Island, Seychelles, early 20th century)
A Madagascar coucal subspecies last recorded in 1906. It is often considered synonymous with the Aldabra form insularis, which has since recolonized Assumption Island.
  • Cabo San Lucas groove-billed ani, Crotophaga sulcirostris pallidula (Mexico, c. 1940)
A weakly differentiated and probably invalid subspecies of the groove-billed ani.
  • Bahia rufous-vented ground cuckoo, Neomorphus geoffroyi maximiliani (E Brazil, mid-20th century?)
Rufous-vented ground cuckoo subspecies.


Birds of prey

  • Cape Verde kite, Milvus (milvus) fasciicauda (Cape Verde Islands, E Atlantic, 2000)
Considered either a subspecies of the red kite, a distinct species, or a hybrid between red and black kites, the validity of this taxon has recently been questioned on the basis of molecular analysis. However, hybridization and a confusing molecular phylogeny of red kite populations, coupled with the distinct phenotype of the Cape Verde birds, suggest that the taxonomic status of this form is far from resolved.
  • Car Nicobar sparrowhawk, Accipiter butleri butleri (Car Nicobar, Nicobar Islands, 20th century?)
The nominate subspecies of the Nicobar sparrowhawk– which is currently listed as vulnerable– is possibly extinct. It was last reliably recorded in 1901 and despite searches, has not been sighted after an unconfirmed record in 1977. However, the species is known for being very shy and a population may persist unrecorded.
  • Volcano Islands peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus furuitii. (Ogasawara Islands, 1940s)
Peregrine falcon subspecies from the Ogasawara Islands. No sightings since 1945. A survey in 1982 failed to find this bird. Only known from Iwo Jima and Torishima.


Typical owls and barn owls

  • Sulu reddish scops owl, Otus rufescens burbidgei (Sulu, Philippines, mid-20th century)
A subspecies of the reddish scops owl. Known from a single questionable specimen and may not be valid.
  • Virgin Islands owl or Virgin Islands screech owl, Gymnasio nudipes newtoni (Virgin Islands, Caribbean, 20th century?)
A subspecies of the Puerto Rican owl, of somewhat doubtful validity, which occurred on several of the Virgin Islands, West Indies. The last reliable records are in 1860; there were a number of unconfirmed reports during the 20th century, but it was not found in thorough surveys in 1995.
  • Socorro elf owl, Micrathene whitneyi graysoni (Socorro, Revillagigedo Islands, mid-20th century?)
A subspecies of the elf owl. Officially listed as critically endangered, the last specimen was taken in 1932, but there was apparently still a large population in 1958; it was not found by subsequent searches and it appears to be extinct.
  • Antiguan burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia amaura (Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis, West Indies, c. 1900)
Burrowing owl subspecies, last collected in 1890 and extinct by 1903.
  • Guadeloupe burrowing owl, Athene cunicularia guadeloupensis (Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante, West Indies, c. 1890)
Burrowing owl subspecies. Extinct by 1890.
  • Lord Howe boobook, Ninox novaeseelandiae albaria (Lord Howe Island, Southwest Pacific, 1950s)
Southern boobook subspecies last recorded in the 1950s.
  • Norfolk boobook, Ninox novaeseelandiae undulata (Norfolk Island, Southwest Pacific, 1990s)
Individuals of the nominate subspecies were introduced in a last-ditch effort to save the local owl population. There now exists a hybrid population of a few dozen birds; the last individual of N. n. undulata, a female named Miamiti, died in 1996, though individuals descended from her remain.
  • Cave-nesting masked owl, Tyto novaehollandiae troughtoni (Nullarbor Plain, Australia, 1960s)
Doubtfully distinct from nominate subspecies, but differed behaviorally.
  • Buru masked owl, Tyto sororcula cayelii (Buru, Indonesia, mid-20th century?)
Subspecies of the lesser masked owl. Last recorded in 1921; the identity of a similar bird found on Seram remains to be determined. Seems to survive, as an owl matching this bird's description was encountered in August 2006.
  • Peleng masked owl, Tyto rosenbergii pelengensis (Peleng, Banggai Islands, mid-20th century)
Subspecies of the Sulawesi owl or a separate species. Possibly extant, but the only specimen known was taken in 1938 and there have been no further records.
  • Samar bay owl, Phodilus badius riverae (Samar, Philippines, mid-20th century)
Subspecies of the Oriental bay owl or a possibly distinct species. Taxonomy doubtful, but only specimen lost in 1945 bombing raid, so validity cannot be verified; no population exists on Samar today.


Nightjars and allies

  • New Caledonian white-throated nightjar, Eurostopodus mystacalis exsul (New Caledonia, Melanesia, mid-20th century)
This distinct subspecies of the white-throated nightjar is possibly a separate species. It was found only once; due to its cryptic habits, it possibly still exists, but this is now considered unlikely.


Swifts and hummingbirds

  • Miravalles hummingbird, Amazilia cyanifrons alfaroana (Costa Rica, Central America, 20th century?)
This subspecies of the indigo-capped hummingbird is only known from a specimen collected in Costa Rica in 1895. It is likely to have gone extinct since
  • Alejandro Selkirk firecrown, Sephanoides fernandensis leyboldi (Alejandro Selkirk Island, Juan Fernández Islands, Southeast Pacific, 1908)
Juan Fernández firecrown subspecies last recorded in 1908.
  • Luzon Whitehead's swiftlet, Collocalia whiteheadi whiteheadi (Luzon, Philippines, 20th century?)
The nominate subspecies of Whitehead's swiftlet is only known from four specimens collected at Mount Data in 1895. From the lack of further records and the massive habitat destruction, it is usually considered extinct. Given the size of the island, it might still exist though.


Kingfishers and related birds

  • Sangihe dwarf kingfisher, Ceyx fallax sangirensis (Sangihe, Indonesia, 1998?)
This subspecies of the Sulawesi dwarf kingfisher was last seen in 1997 but not during a thorough survey one year later; it is either close to extinction or already extinct. Sometimes it is said to occur on Talaud Islands also, but this is erroneous.
  • Rarotonga kingfisher, Todiramphus cf. tutus (Rarotonga, Cook Islands, mid-1980s?)
There exist reports of locals that kingfishers–probably a subspecies of the chattering kingfisher which is found on neighboring islands, but possibly vagrants from there–were found until around 1979 and there is a last record from 1984. Presently, no kingfishers are known to exist on Rarotonga.
  • Mangareva kingfisher, Todiramphus gambieri gambieri (Mangareva, Gambier Islands, late 19th century)
Only known from a single 1844 specimen, the nominate subspecies of the Tuamotu kingfisher was not found again when it was next searched for in 1922.
  • Guam kingfisher, Todiramphus cinnamominus cinnamominus (Guam, West Pacific, 1986)
This subspecies of the Micronesian kingfisher became extinct in the wild in 1986 when 29 birds were taken for a captive breeding programme, which is ongoing. Its decline was caused by the depredations of introduced brown tree snakes.
  • Ryūkyū kingfisher, Todiramphus cinnamominus miyakoensis (Miyako-jima, Ryukyu Islands, late 19th century)
Previously considered as a full species, but better regarded as a subspecies of the Micronesian kingfisher (Todiramphus cinnamominus). Only seen once by scientists, in 1887; the specimen taken is somewhat damaged, making identification by other than molecular analysis difficult. It is now thought likely that the specimen came from Guam, where the nominate subspecies was distributed, rather than Miyako, which would make this subspecies invalid.
  • Javan blue-banded kingfisher, Alcedo euryzona euryzona (Java, Indonesia, extant)
The nominate subspecies of the blue-banded kingfisher; the last specimen was taken in 1937 and the taxon has been considered extinct, but it was mist-netted five times in 2000-2001 at Halimun National Park, which has not undergone much change since.
  • Guadalcanal little kingfisher, Alcedo pusilla aolae (Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, ?)
Little kingfisher subspecies.
  • Sakarha pygmy kingfisher, Ispidina madagascariensis dilutus (Southwest Madagascar, late 20th century?)
This subspecies of the Madagascar pygmy kingfisher is only known from one specimen taken in 1974 in an area where most habitat had already been lost. However, there have been records of the species (uncertain subspecies) from near the type locality, suggesting it is likely to be extant.
  • Ticao hornbill, Penelopides panini ticaensis (Ticao, Philippines, 1970s)
A subspecies of the Visayan hornbill of somewhat uncertain status–possibly a distinct species, possibly a color morph–the last confirmed report was in 1971 and it became extinct shortly thereafter.


Woodpeckers and related birds

  • Grand Bahama West Indian woodpecker, Melanerpes superciliaris bahamensis (Grand Bahama, Bahamas, 1950s)
A West Indian woodpecker subspecies of somewhat uncertain validity.
  • Javan buff-rumped woodpecker, Meiglyptes tristis tristis (Java, Indonesia, c. 1920?)
The nominate subspecies of the buff-rumped woodpecker became rare during the 19th century due to destruction of habitat. The last confirmed record was in 1880, and it is now considered at least very rare.
  • Guadalupe red-shafted flicker, Colaptes auratus rufipileus (Guadalupe, East Pacific, c. 1910)
A subspecies of the northern flicker (or the red-shafted flicker, as C. cafer rufipileus), it was last recorded in 1906 and not found again in both 1911 and 1922. It may be invalid. Recently, vagrant birds of a mainland red-shafted subspecies have begun recolonizing the island as the habitat improves after the removal of feral goats.
  • Northern white-mantled barbet, Capito hypoleucus hypoleucus (Colombia, extant)
The nominate subspecies of the white-mantled barbet has been considered extinct, but has been recorded recently.
  • Botero white-mantled barbet, Capito hypoleucus carrikeri (Colombia, extant)
Another subspecies of the white-mantled barbet, also considered extinct by some sources, but confirmed extant by researchers in Colombia.
  • Todd's jacamar, Brachygalba lugubris phaeonota (Brazil, late 20th century?)
A subspecies of the brown jacamar, or possibly a hybrid, color morph or full species. Might survive, as it is only known from a remote and seldom-visited area.
  • Cebu white-bellied woodpecker, Dryocopus javensis cebuensis (Cebu, Philippines, 20th century)
Only known by three specimens collected before 1900.


Perching birds

Pittidae – pittas

  • Bougainville black-faced pitta, Pitta anerythra pallida (Bougainville, Solomon Islands, mid-20th century?)
A subspecies of the black-faced pitta. Once common on Bougainville; not recorded since 1938, but likely to have been overlooked.
  • Choiseul black-faced pitta, Pitta anerythra nigrifrons (Choiseul, Solomon Islands, late 20th century?)
Another subspecies of the black-faced pitta. Not found during recent searches; doubtful records from nearby islands. Also may have been overlooked by observers.

Tyrannidae – tyrant flycatchers

  • Bogotá bearded tachuri, Polystictus pectoralis bogotensis (C Colombia, 20th century)
A bearded tachuri subspecies, or possibly a distinct species, that has not been recorded for some time and is now extinct.
  • Grenadan Euler's flycatcher, Lathrotriccus euleri flaviventris (Grenada, West Indies, 1950s?)
A subspecies of Euler's flycatcher, formerly known as Empidonax euleri johnstonei. It has not been recorded since the 1950s.
A subspecies of the vermilion flycatcher, described as extremely rare by David W. Steadman in the 1980s and not found despite a six-month survey in 1998. Sometimes considered a full species.

Furnariidae – ovenbirds

  • Peruvian scale-throated earthcreeper, Upucerthia dumetaria peruana (Peru, 20th century?)
A subspecies of the scale-throated earthcreeper, it is only known from two specimens taken in the early 1950s at Puno, Peru, and has never been found since. It may well persist, as there is no obvious reason why it should have become extinct.
  • Northern stripe-crowned spinetail, Cranioleuca pyrrhophia rufipennis (N Bolivia, 20th century?)
A stripe-crowned spinetail subspecies known from a few specimens and not recorded since the 1950s; may be endangered or possibly extinct.

Formicariidae – antpittas and antthrushes

  • Northern giant antpitta, Grallaria gigantea lehmanni (Colombia, 20th century?)
A giant antpitta (or possibly great antpitta) subspecies apparently not recorded since the 1940s. Might still survive in Puracé National Natural Park, where there is plentiful habitat remaining.
  • Antioquia brown-banded antpitta, Grallaria milleri gilesi (Antioquia, Colombia, 20th century?)
A brown-banded antpitta subspecies recently described from a specimen collected in 1878. It has not been recorded since, despite surveys at a number of likely locations.

Maluridae – Australasian "wrens"

  • Macdonnell Ranges grasswren, Amytornis modestus modestus (Northern Territory, Australia, 1936)
Thick-billed grasswren subspecies. The last record was a clutch of eggs taken in 1936.
  • Namoi grasswren, Amytornis modestus inexpectatus (New South Wales, Australia, 1886)
Another thick-billed grasswren subspecies, last recorded in 1886.
  • Large-tailed grasswren, Amytornis textilis macrourus (Western Australia, 1910)
Western grasswren subspecies, last collected in 1910 and since extinct.

Pardalotidae – pardalotes, scrubwrens, thornbills and gerygones

Rufous bristlebird subspecies not recorded since 1940, despite a number of surveys since, beginning in the 1970s.
  • King Island brown thornbill, Acanthiza pusilla archibaldi (King Island, Australia, extant)
A brown thornbill subspecies which has only been recorded c.10 times since its discovery and considered extinct by some sources. The latest record comes from 2002, suggesting a population is likely to be extant, but very rare.

Petroicidae – Australasian "robins"

  • Tiwi Island hooded robin, Melanodryas cucullata melvillensis (Tiwi Islands, Australia, 1992)
Subspecies of the hooded robin, last observed in 1992 and not found in exhaustive searches later in the 1990s.

Cinclosomatidae – whipbirds and allies

  • Mount Lofty spotted quail-thrush, Cinclosoma punctatum anachoreta (Australia, mid-1980s?)
A subspecies of the spotted quail-thrush, last recorded in 1983 and not found in a survey the following year.

Artamidae – woodswallows, currawongs and allies

  • Western pied currawong, Strepera graculina ashbyi (Victoria, Australia, 1927)
This pied currawong subspecies has been swamped by other subspecies, which probably came into contact following habitat destruction in the 1830s. The last certainly distinct individuals were recorded in 1927.

Monarchidae – monarch flycatchers

  • Negros celestial monarch, Hypothymis coelestis rabori (Negros and possibly Sibuyan, Philippines, late 20th century?)
A subspecies of the celestial monarch, not uncommon on Negros in 1959, but not recorded since. A single Sibuyan specimen from an unspecified locality taken in the 19th century is the only record for this island.
  • Hiva Oa monarch, Pomarea mendozae mendozae (Hiva Oa and Tahuata, Marquesas, late 20th century)
Marquesas monarch nominate subspecies, which was very rare by 1974 and not found during multiple surveys in the 1990s.

Rhipiduridae – fantails

  • Lord Howe fantail, Rhipidura fuliginosa cervina (Lord Howe Island, Southwest Pacific, c. 1925)
New Zealand fantail subspecies that was considered virtually extinct in 1924 and not found by surveys four years later.
  • Guam rufous fantail, Rhipidura rufifrons uraniae (Guam, Marianas, 1984)
Rufous fantail subspecies, a conspicuous bird which has not been recorded since 1984.

Campephagidae – cuckoo-shrikes and trillers

  • Cebu bar-bellied cuckoo-shrike, Coracina striata cebuensis (Cebu, Philippines, early 20th century)
Bar-bellied cuckoo-shrike subspecies not recorded since its collection in 1906.
  • Maros cicadabird, Coracina tenuirostris edithae (Sulawesi, mid-20th century)
A subspecies of the cicadabird known from a single specimen collected in 1931; quite possibly just a vagrant individual.
  • Cebu blackish cuckoo-shrike, Coracina coerulescens altera (Cebu, Philippines, 20th century?)
A blackish cuckoo-shrike subspecies; could be extant as the birds are rather unmistakable and a 1999 record therefore likely to be valid, though surveys since then have failed to find it
  • Marinduque blackish cuckoo-shrike, Coracina coerulescens deschauenseei (Marinduque, Philippines, late 20th century?)
Another blackish cuckoo-shrike subspecies, described from specimens collected in 1971, but apparently not seen since. As few ornithologists have visited Marinduque and forest remains on the island, it is thought likely to remain extant.
  • Norfolk long-tailed triller, Lalage leucopyga leucopyga (Norfolk Island, Southwest Pacific, 1942)
A subspecies of the long-tailed triller, possibly a distinct species.

Oriolidae – orioles and figbird

  • Cebu dark-throated oriole, Oriolus xanthonotus assimilis (Cebu, Philippines, 20th century?)
Dark-throated oriole subspecies not confirmed since 1906, though there were unconfirmed reports around 2001, suggesting a possibility of survival.

Corvidae – crows, ravens, magpies and jays

  • Pied raven, Corvus corax varius morpha leucophaeus (Faroe Islands, 1948)
A distinct local white-with-black-markings color morph of the Icelandic subspecies of the common raven.
  • Hawaiian crow, Corvus hawaiiensis (Hawai'i, Hawai'ian Islands, 2002)

Callaeidae – New Zealand wattlebirds

This subspecies of the kōkako is usually considered extinct, as it has not been reliably recorded since 1967. However, recent reports from Fiordland suggest that a population could exist.

Regulidae – kinglets

  • Guadalupe ruby-crowned kinglet, Regulus calendula obscurus (Guadalupe, East Pacific, 20th century)
A subspecies of the ruby-crowned kinglet that has not been recorded since 1953.

Hirundinidae – swallows and martins

  • Jamaican golden swallow, Tachycineta euchrysea euchrysea (Jamaica, West Indies, c. 1990?)
The nominate subspecies of the golden swallow, endemic to Jamaica. The last major roost site was destroyed in 1987 and the last confirmed sighting was in 1989. May still exist in the Cockpit Country.

Phylloscopidae – phylloscopid warblers or leaf-warblers

A subspecies of the Canary Islands chiffchaff, it was probably extinct by 1986.

Cettiidae – cettiid warblers or typical bush-warblers

  • Babar stubtail, Urosphena subulata advena (Babar, Indonesia, extant)
Timor stubtail subspecies that has been considered extinct, but was recorded as common on Babar in 2009 and 2011.
  • Western Turner's eremomela, Eremomela turneri kalindei (Congo Basin, late 20th century?)
The West African subspecies of Turner's eremomela has not been recorded since the end of the 1970s, but there is unsurveyed habitat in its range where it is likely to survive. Placement in Cettiidae requires confirmation.

Acrocephalidae – acrocephalid warblers or marsh- and tree warblers

  • Marshall Islands reed warbler, Acrocephalus rehsei ssp.? (Marshall Islands, Micronesia, c.1880?)
Oral tradition and some early reports mention a bird called annañ which inhabited some of the Marshall Islands. The best match is the Nauru reed warbler; the annañ might have been an undescribed subspecies of that species, or a distant but related species of reed warbler.[4]
  • Laysan millerbird, Acrocephalus familiaris familiaris (Laysan Island, Hawaiian Islands, late 1910s)
The millerbird's nominate subspecies.
  • Huahine Polynesian warbler, Acrocephalus caffer garretti (Huahine, Society Islands, c.1900)
A poorly known subspecies of the Tahiti reed warbler. Specimens were collected in the late 1800s, but the Whitney Expedition in 1921 found none.

Pycnonotidae – bulbuls

  • Sumatra blue-wattled bulbul, Pycnonotus nieuwenhuisii inexspectatus (Sumatra, Indonesia, late 20th century?)
A subspecies of the blue-wattled bulbul known from a single 1937 specimen. The entire "species" may be a hybrid.

Cisticolidae – cisticolas and allies

  • Northern white-winged apalis, Apalis chariessa chariessa (Kenya, late 20th century?)
The nominate subspecies of the white-winged apalis remains known only from the Tana River, a center of endemism. It was last recorded in 1961.

Sylviidae – sylviid ("true") warblers and parrotbills

  • Vanua Levu long-legged warbler, Trichocichla rufa clunei (Vanua Levu, Fiji, late 20th century?)
A subspecies of the long-legged warbler; it was only found once, but there was an unconfirmed sighting in 1990, suggesting it is likely to remain extant. Placement in Sylviidae doubtful.
  • Fayyum warbler, Sylvia melanocephala/momus norissae (Egypt, 1939)
A doubtfully distinct Sardinian warbler subspecies. It has not been recorded since 1939.

Zosteropidae – white-eyes. Probably belong into Timaliidae

  • Guam bridled white-eye, Zosterops conspicillatus conspicillatus (Guam, Marianas, 1983)
Bridled white-eye nominate subspecies or possibly monotypic species. Last recorded in 1983.
  • Mukojima white-eye, Apalopteron familiare familiare (Mukojima Group, Ogasawara Islands, 20th century?)
Bonin white-eye ("Bonin honeyeater") subspecies not recorded since its last specimen was collected in 1930.

Timaliidae – Old World babblers

  • Vanderbilt's babbler, Malacocincla sepiarium vanderbilti (Sumatra, Indonesia, late 20th century?)
An enigmatic subspecies of Horsfield's babbler, known from a single specimen. Not seen since the 1940s at the latest.
  • Burmese Jerdon's babbler, Chrysomma altirostre altirostre (Myanmar, 20th century?)
The nominate subspecies of Jerdon's babbler was last confirmed in 1941, but as there has been little fieldwork in its range and a possible sighting in 1994, it is considered likely to persist.

"African warblers"

  • Chapin's crombec, Sylvietta leucophrys chapini (Congo Basin, late 20th century?)
A subspecies of the white-browed crombec, sometimes listed as a separate species. Restricted to the Lendu Plateau, it is probably rare, though unsurveyed forest remains where it is likely to persist.

Sylvioidea incertae sedis

  • Lake Amik bearded reedling, Panurus biarmicus kosswigi (S Turkey, extant)
Bearded reedling subspecies, which has been considered extinct owing to the drainage of Lake Amik, but is still extant in the area.

Troglodytidae – wrens

A subspecies of the rock wren which became extinct around 9:00 AM, August 1, 1952, when its island habitat was devastated by a massive volcanic eruption.
Bewick's wren subspecies. An extinction date of "1903" seems to be in error;[9] the last unquestionable record dates from 1897 and a thorough search in 1901 failed to find it.
  • San Clemente Bewick's wren, Thryomanes bewickii leucophrys (San Clemente, East Pacific, 1941)
Another Bewick's wren subspecies, last recorded in 1941.
  • Daito wren, Troglodytes troglodytes orii (Daito Islands, Northwest Pacific, c. 1940)
A disputed Eurasian wren subspecies; as it is known from a single specimen that may have been a vagrant individual; it is possibly invalid.
  • Guadeloupe house wren, Troglodytes aedon guadeloupensis (Guadeloupe, Caribbean, late 20th century?)
Found in 1914, 1969 and the 1970s; now very rare or already extinct. Taxonomy unresolved. Part of the house wren complex; other scientific names include T. musculus guadeloupensis and T. guadeloupensis
  • Martinique house wren, Troglodytes aedon martinicensis (Martinique, Caribbean, c. 1890)
Last found in 1886. Another house wren complex taxon; other scientific names include T. musculus martinicensis and T. martinicensis.

Paridae – tits, chickadees and titmice

A varied tit subspecies, variously placed in genus Sittiparus and Parus also. Last recorded in 1938 and not found in subsequent surveys in 1984 and 1986.
  • Zagros coal tit, Periparus ater phaeonotus (Zagros Mountains, Southwestern Iran)
A coal tit subspecies, only known by the type specimen from 1870.

Cinclidae – dippers

  • Cyprus dipper, Cinclus cinclus olympicus (Cyprus, Northeast Mediterranean, 1945)
A subspecies of the white-throated dipper of questionable validity. It became extinct in 1945.

Muscicapidae – Old World flycatchers and chats

  • Tonkean henna-tailed jungle flycatcher, Rhinomyias colonus subsolanus (Sulawesi, Indonesia, late 20th century?)
A henna-tailed jungle flycatcher subspecies that is known from a single specimen; it may not be valid.
  • Chinijo chat, Saxicola dacotiae murielae (Chinijo Archipelago, canary Islands, early 20th century)
Canary Islands stonechat subspecies.

Turdidae – thrushes and allies

  • Norfolk thrush, Turdus poliocephalus poliocephalus (Norfolk Island, Southwest Pacific, c. 1975)
Island thrush subspecies last seen in 1975.
  • Maré thrush, Turdus poliocephalus mareensis (Maré, Melanesia, early 20th century)
Another subspecies of the island thrush, last collected in 1911 or 1912 and not found anymore in 1939.
Yet another island thrush subspecies, last recorded in 1913 and extinct by 1928.
  • Lifou thrush, Turdus poliocephalus pritzbueri (Lifou, Melanesia, extant)
Yet another subspecies of the island thrush. birds surviving on Tanna, New Hebrides, are presently considered the same subspecies. However, given the fact that the species readily differentiates into subspecies and that the distance between Tanna and Lifou is considerable, these birds may belong to a different subspecies, in which case the Lifou thrush would be considered extinct.
  • Peleng red-and-black thrush, Zoothera mendeni mendeni (Peleng, Indonesia, mid-20th century?)
Red-and-black thrush nominate subspecies; little known.
  • Kibale black-eared ground thrush, Zoothera camaronensis kibalensis (SW Uganda, late 20th century?)
A black-eared ground thrush subspecies known only from two 1966 specimens. Likely to survive in suitable habitat but could be already extinct.
  • Choiseul russet-tailed thrush, Zoothera heinei choiseuli (Choiseul, Solomon Islands, mid-20th century?)
A subspecies of the russet-tailed thrush known from a single specimen found in 1924. It could have been killed off by introduced cats, but the island is poorly known and so it should not be presumed extinct.
  • Saint Lucia forest thrush, Cichlherminia lherminieri sanctaeluciae (St Lucia, West Indies, extant)
A subspecies of the forest thrush. It has been thought extinct, but the taxon was recorded at Des Chassin in 2007.
  • Pines solitaire, Myadestes elisabeth retrusus (Isla de la Juventud, West Indies, 20th century)
A subspecies of the Cuban solitaire. The last confirmed records were in the 1930s, with unconfirmed reports in the early 1970s.

Mimidae – mockingbirds and thrashers

  • Barbados scaly-breasted thrasher, Allenia fusca atlantica (Barbados, West Indies, 1987?)
Scaly-breasted thrasher subspecies last recorded in 1987. Most of its range has been searched since then, with no records.

Estrildidae – estrildid finches (waxbills, munias, etc.)

  • Southern star finch, Neochmia ruficauda ruficauda (Australia, 1995)
A subspecies of the star finch; last recorded in 1995 and not found during searches later in the 1990s. Not known to survive in captivity.

Fringillidae – true finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers

  • San Benito house finch, Carpodacus mexicanus mcgregori (San Benito, East Pacific, c. 1940s)
House finch subspecies.
  • Lanaʻi ʻalauahio, Paroreomyza montana montana (Lanaʻi, Hawaiian Islands, 1937)
A subspecies of the Maui ʻalauahio (or, more properly, the Maui Nui ʻalauahio). Last recorded in 1937 and certainly extinct by 1960.

Icteridae – grackles

  • Grand Cayman oriole, Icterus leucopteryx bairdi (Grand Cayman, West Indies, late 20th century)
A subspecies of the Jamaican oriole, last recorded in 1967.

Parulidae – New World warblers

  • New Providence yellowthroat, Geothlypis rostrata rostrata (New Providence, Bahamas, 1990?)
The nominate subspecies of the Bahama yellowthroat is either almost or completely extinct.

Thraupidae – tanagers

  • Gonâve western chat-tanager, Calyptophilus tertius abbotti (Gonâve, West Indies, c. 1980?)
A western chat-tanager subspecies last recorded in 1977 and probably extinct.
  • Samaná eastern chat-tanager, Calyptophilus frugivorus frugivorus (E Hispaniola, West Indies, late 20th century)
An eastern chat-tanager subspecies; the last (unconfirmed?) record was in 1982 and concerted efforts to find it since have failed.
  • Darwin's large ground finch, Geospiza magnirostris magnirostris (Floreana?, Galapagos Islands, 1957?)
A doubtful subspecies of the large ground finch collected by Charles Darwin in 1835; he gave no precise locality. A similar bird was found in 1957, but no others have ever been seen.
  • Saint Kitts bullfinch, Loxigilla portoricensis grandis (Saint Kitts and prehistorically Barbuda, West Indies, 1930)
Puerto Rican bullfinch subspecies.

Emberizoidea – buntings and American sparrows

  • Todos Santos rufous-crowned sparrow, Aimophila ruficeps sanctorum (Islas Todos Santos, E Pacific, 1970s?)
Rufous-crowned sparrow subspecies, once common but not recorded during surveys in the 1970s or since.
  • Santa Barbara song sparrow, Melospiza melodia graminea (Santa Barbara Island, late 1960s). Last seen in 1967, became extinct due to a severe wildfire in 1959 and subsequent feral cat predation. Officially declared extinct by the USFWS in 1983.
  • Dusky seaside sparrow, Ammospiza maritima nigrescens (Florida, 1980s)
Seaside sparrow subspecies, last recorded in the wild in 1987.
  • Guadalupe spotted towhee, Pipilo maculatus consobrinus (Guadalupe Island, East Pacific, c. 1900)
Spotted towhee subspecies.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Stattersfield, Alison J.; Bennun, Leon A.; Shutes, Sue M.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Baillie, Jonathan E. M.; Stuart, Simon N.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Mace, Georgina M. (2004-10-26). "Measuring Global Trends in the Status of Biodiversity: Red List Indices for Birds". PLOS Biology. 2 (12): e383. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0020383. ISSN 1545-7885. PMC 524254. PMID 15510230.
  2. ^ "Birds Going Extinct Faster Due to Human Activities". Retrieved 2022-02-20.
  3. ^ "Labrador Duck (Camptorhynchus labradorius) - BirdLife species factsheet". Retrieved 2017-03-16.
  4. ^ a b Spennemann (2006)
  5. ^ "".
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  7. ^ Hume, Julian P. (2017). Extinct Birds. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 479. ISBN 9781472937469.
  8. ^ Worthy, Trevor (2000). "New Zealand pigeon ( Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae ) on Raoul Island, Kermadec Group". Notornis. 47 (1): 36–38. Archived from the original on 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  9. ^ Hume, Julian P. (2017). Extinct Birds. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 307. ISBN 9781472937469.


  • BirdLife International (BLI) (2008): Globally Threatened Forums – Sharpe's Rail (Gallirallus sharpei): no longer recognised taxonomically[permanent dead link]. Version of 2008-NOV-24. Retrieved 2008-DEC-16.
  • Fuller, Errol (2000): Extinct Birds (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York. ISBN 0-19-850837-9
  • Gutiérrez Expósito, Carlos; Copete, José Luis; Crochet, Pierre-André; Qninba, Abdeljebbar and Garrido, Héctor (2011): History, status and distribution of Andalusian Buttonquail in the WP. Dutch Birding 33 (#2): 75–93.
  • Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2006): Extinctions and extirpations in Marshall Islands avifauna since European contact – a review of historic evidence. Micronesica 38(#2): 253–266. PDF fulltext
  • Szabo, Judit K.; Khwaja, Nyil; Garnett, Stephen T. and Butchart, Stuart H.M. (2012): Global patterns and drivers of avian extinctions at the species and subspecies level. PLoS One 7 (#10): e47080. fulltext

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