Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Chester
Various reported sightings in East Texas in 1972, Cuba in 1986,
and Louisiana in 2000 and 2004 left hope that Ivory-bills still lived.
Unfortunately, the reports and follow up sightings are now believed to be
mistaken. Deforestation caused the giant woodpecker's decline as each
pair required at least ten square miles of low-land hardwood forests.
Bald Eagle Haliaeetus
leucocephalus, Robert Ridgway
Congress prohibited killing the American Eagle in 1940. In
1963, 417 nesting Bald Eagle pairs were counted in the lower 48 States. They were
listed as endangered south of the 40th parallel in 1967 and in 43 States in 1973. In
1999, it was estimated almost 6,000 pairs were nesting in the lower 48 States and the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to delist the Bald Eagle.
Condor Gymnogyps californianus
W.L.Finley & H.T.Bohlman
Condors were listed as endangered in 1967. By 1982, there were less than two dozen
in the wild. Mating Condor pairs produce only one egg every two years. Rescued
from the brink of extinction by an intense captive breeding program, as of October 1, 2003
there was a total wild population of 83 and 137 in captivity. With a wingspan of
over 9 feet, California Condors can soar more than 100 miles per day on updrafts searching
for food. They have a life span of up to 60 years.
Attwater's Greater Prairie Chicken,
The Greater Prairie Chicken was designated endangered in
Texas in 1967. Nests in slight, grass lined hollows in the soil sheltered by grass
tufts in open coastal grasslands, which have been reduced through cultivation and
grazing. Populations have declined to less than 100, which sounds strikingly like
the story of their extinct cousin, the
Eats grass and flower seeds. Their dancing mating spectacles are popular among
birder and even inspired traditional Native American ritual dances. Preyed upon by
hawks and owls, even cats and dogs.
Brown Pelican, Pelecanus
occidentalis, Rex Brasher
Pelicans were designated endangered in 1970 and delisted in 1985 in Florida, Alabama and
the Atlantic coast. Inhabits mostly the coasts, although inland sometimes, from middle and
southern North America to South America. Nests in colonies on shores or wetlands, on
the ground or mangrove bushes, usually on islands. Gluttonous, they plunge for fish rather
than scooping like the White Pelican.
Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Picoides borealis, R
The Red-cockaded woodpecker was designated endangered in 1970. Excavates
its own cavities which it returns to for several years in live pine trees in open pine
woods, rarely in dense forests, in southeastern US from Oklahoma and Texas to Florida and
north to Virginia. Pecks hundreds of small holes in the bark from which pine tar seeps
surrounding its cavity entrance hole deterring insects and some predators. Small groups
search tree branches and cones for insects and a few seeds, usually near tree tops. Often
mistaken for the Downy Woodpecker, however, is less likely to roost near humans.
Kirtland's Warbler Dendroica
kirtlandii, R Bruce Horsfall