Bernier’s Teal, Anas bernieri, is a species endemic to Madagascar and is sometimes known as the Madagascar Teal. It is on the edge of extinction with about 1500 birds left in the wild. These images were taken at Sylvian Heights Conservation Center in North Carolina.
The Hawaiian Duck, Anas wyvilliana, is closely related to the Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos, and some authorities have considered it a subspecies of that species. Both sexes resemble the mottled brown plumage of female Mallards. The male tends to have a darker head than the female, and often have a greenish-blue crown. They are called Koloa Maoli in Hawaiian.
Koloa Maoli, Hawaiian Duck, Anas wyvilliana
It used to range to all of the Hawaiian Islands except Lanai, but was reduced to Kauai and Niihau. It has been re-introduced to other islands including Oahu but it has often mixed with the common feral Mallards.
It is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and Birdlife’s Redlist lists it as Critically Endangered. As you would expect, habitat loss and introduced predators have been problems for this species but the main threat is probably dilution of the pure stock by hybridization with feral Mallards.
The Steller’s Sea-eagle, Haliaeetus pelagicus, is on average, the largest member of the Hawk family, although individual Harpy Eagle and Phillipine Eagle may be larger. It breeds on the coast of northern Pacific Asia and winters to South Korea and Japan.
Like other members of its genus, the Bald Eagle and African Fish Eagle, it feeds primarily on fish.
Birdlife International classifies it as Vulnerable due to a small and declining population.
These images were taken of birds in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.
The Northern Bobwhite has a wonderful subspecies called the Masked Bobwhite, Colinus virginianus ridgwayi. It has been extinct or close to it in the wild primarily caused by loss of breeding habitat. A great deal of work has been done to try to re-establish wild populations using birds raised in captivity. One of the target locations for this has been the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) in southern Arizona. There has been no conclusive success to this point.
These pictures are of captive birds kept in The Desert Museum aviary.
This fearless scavenging behavior has cost them, as they have been persecuted in the Falklands because they have been thought to take newborn lambs. The species is better protected but is still listed as Near Threatened due to its low numbers.
The Corvid family are known for their smarts and often for a bit of attitude. The Yellow-billed Magpie, Pica nuttalli, certainly have these features. They are one of two species endemic to the State of California, the other being the Island Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma insularis.
I have previously posted on the birds susceptibility to the West Nile virus and, in some areas, populations seem to be down by up to 80%. In others where mosquitoes are better controlled, they seem to be doing well.
The Rose-ringed Parakeet, Psittacula krameri, resident in Tropical Africa and India has been a popular caged bird. It has a long history as a pet, having been kept by both the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Due to escaped birds, breeding populations of feral birds have become established in many areas of the world, including Hawaii. Ironically its popularity as a cage bird has caused a serious decline in its natural habitat.
The Swan Goose (Anser cygnoides) is a large bird with a long bill and neck. It has a brown cap and lightish underparts. Males are somewhat larger than females. They are the parent source of some domesticated breeds, particularly the Chinese Goose. There are estimated to be a world population of 60,000 birds.
It breeds in southern Russia, Mongolia and northern China, and winters in the Yangtze basin, China.
Swan Goose Range (Creative Commons Image)
Birdlife International has recently adjusted their status from Endangered to Vulnerable based on “This species has been downlisted to Vulnerable because despite poor breeding success in recent years owing to drought, and considerable pressure from habitat loss, particularly owing to agricultural development, and unsustainable levels of hunting, comprehensive surveys in the wintering range have failed to detect evidence of declines of the magnitude predicted.”