Extinct Birds

Birds are the only surviving members of the clade Dinosauria, which makes them the only extant ‘dinosaurs.’ Over the last 500 years, around 150 bird species and subspecies have gone extinct. Additionally, over 200 species are critically endangered. The primary reasons for a bird to go extinct include habitat loss and the threat from predatory animals – especially those introduced within their habitat range by human activity.

List of the Commonly-known Extinct Birds

The list includes birds that have been classified as extinct after 1500.

  • Dodo Bird
  • Great Auk
  • Labrador Duck
  • Passenger Pigeon
  • Mauritius Blue Pigeon
  • Carolina Parakeet
  • Seychelles Parakeet
  • Elephant Bird
  • Bachman’s Warbler
  • New Zealand Quail
  • Himalayan Quail
  • Kangaroo Island Emu
  • Tasmanian Emu
  • Dusky Seaside Sparrow
  • Heath Hen
  • Hawaiʻi Mamo
  • Laughing Owl
  • Poʻouli
  • Mysterious Starling
  • Saint Helena Dove
  • Pagan Reed-warbler
  • Least Vermilion Flycatcher
  • Oahu Akialoa
  • Bishop’s ʻōʻō
  • Hawaiʻi ʻōʻō
  • Lord Howe Gerygone
  • North Island Piopio
  • Laysan Honeycreeper 
  • Marianne White-eye
  • Bonin Grosbeak
  • Arabian Ostrich
  • Stephen’s island Wren
  • Ivory-billed Woodpecker
  • Laysan Rail
  • Tahiti Rail
  • Chatham Island Penguin
  • Marianne White Eye
  • Norfolk Island Kaka
  • Reunion Shelduck
  • Canarian Oystercatcher
  • Javan Lapwing
  • Spectacled Cormorant
  • Pink-headed Duck
  • Hawaiian Crow
  • Huia Bird

Birds confined to isolated habitats, such as islands, are most vulnerable to these threats. This is also true for flightless birds. Islands like Hawaii and Guam are at the top of the list for losing their native birds. Around 30% of the population of the birds that have gone extinct since 1500 were native to Hawaii.

List of Famous Prehistoric Extinct Birds

  • Pelagornis sandersi
  • Pelagornis chilensis
  • Argentavis
  • Eastern Moa
  • Eskimo Curlew
  • Giant Moa
  • Haast’s eagle
  • Teratornis
  • Osteodontornis
  • Patagopteryx
  • Terror Bird
  • Thunder Bird
  • Titanis
  • Waimanu
  • Physornis
  • Brontornis


What are the most recently extinct birds?

The poʻouli or black-faced honeycreeper, Hawaiian crow, and white-chested white-eye are some of the most recently extinct species, declared extinct after 2000.

What are some extinct flightless birds?

Dodo is probably the most famous of all extinct species, and it was also flightless. The great auk, Kangaroo Island emu, and Tasmanian emu are some of the other flightless extinct birds.

What are some of the largest extinct birds?

The moas and elephant birds are among the largest extinct birds, better recognized worldwide. Other giant birds that are now extinct include the prehistoric Pelagornis sandersi, Brontornis, Titanis, and the thunder birds.