RSPB searches for lost birds …

The RSPB is taking part in a global bid to try to confirm the continued existence of 47 species of bird that have not been seen for up to 184 years.

Organised by BirdLife International the search will span many countries and continents to seek out rare birds.

The RSPB is the UK partner in the global alliance of conservation organisations.

The list of potentially lost birds is a tantalising mix of species ranging from some inhabiting the least visited places on earth – such as remote islands and the western Himalayas – to those occurring in parts of Europe and the United States.

Marco Lambertini, BirdLife International’s Chief Executive, said: “The mention of species such as the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Jamaican Petrel, Hooded Seedeater, Himalayan Quail, and Pink-headed Duck will set scientists’ pulses racing.

Some of these species haven’t been seen by any living person, but birdwatchers around the world still dream of rediscovering these long lost ghosts.



“History has shown us that we shouldn’t give up on species that are feared to have gone to their graves because some, such as the Cebu flowerpecker, have been rediscovered long after they were feared extinct, providing hope for the continued survival of other ‘long-lost’ species.

The Cebu flowerpecker, of the Philippines, was only rediscovered at the eleventh hour just before the last remnants of its forest home were destroyed.

“The extinction crisis is gathering momentum, but that’s no excuse for humanity to allow even more strands from the web of life to disappear, especially without giving them a final chance of life.”

The announcement of the quest to find lost species was made at the launch of the 21st British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water recently.

The 47 species whose continued existence needs to be confirmed include:

  • Africa: Alaotra Grebe; Archer’s Lark; Liberian Greenbul; and Slender-billed Curlew.
  • Asia: Banggai Crow; Blue-fronted Lorikeet; Crested Shelduck; Himalayan Quail; Javan Lapwing; Negros Fruit-dove; Pink-headed Duck; Rueck’s Blue-flycatcher; Siau Scops-owl; Silvery Wood-pigeon; Slender-billed Curlew; Sulu Bleeding-heart; and White-eyed River-martin.
  • Australasia: Beck’s Petrel; Makira Moorhen; New Caledonian Lorikeet; New Caledonian Owlet-nightjar; New Caledonian Rail; and Night Parrot.
  • Caribbean: Bachman’s Warbler; Ivory-billed Woodpecker; Jamaica Petrel; Jamaican Pauraque; and Semper’s Warbler.
  • Central America: Guadalupe Storm-petrel and Imperial Woodpecker.
  • Europe: Slender-billed curlew.
  • North America: Bachman’s Warbler; Eskimo Curlew; Ivory-billed Woodpecker; Nukupuu (Hawaii); Oahu Alauahio (Hawaii); Olomao (Hawaii); Ou (Hawaii); and Poo-uli (Hawaii).
  • Oceania: Nukupuu; Oahu Alauahio; Olomao; Ou; Pohnpei Starling; Poo-uli; Red-throated Lorikeet; and Samoan Moorhen.
  • South America: Antioquia Brush-finch; Blue-eyed Ground-dove; Eskimo Curlew; Glaucous Macaw; Hooded Seedeater; Kinglet Calyptura; Rio de Janeiro Antwren; Spix’s Macaw; Tachira Antpitta; and Turquoise-throated Puffleg.

You may also be interested in:

%d bloggers like this: