Most endangered birds you've seen as of august 2021

Not very many for me, and most I haven’t uploaded here yet…

Globally Endangered: Nordmann’s Greenshank and Far Eastern Curlew

Globally Vulnerable: Sarus Crane, Hooded Plover, Great Argus, and Rhinoceros Hornbill

Possibly more that I have blurry far-away photos of and haven’t tried to identify yet, but I’ll get to them eventually!


I’ve also seen South Island takahe, but also NZ shore plover ( - around 200 individuals remains), Ouvea parakeet ( - just over 2000 remaining), kakapo ( - admittedly a captive bird, Sirocco, but every individual is named and 201 individuals remain), and Auckland Island Teal ( - around 1000 individuals remain)


IUCN List:

  • Marbled Murrelet-IUCN Endangered
  • Long Tailed Duck-IUCN Vulnerable
  • Horned Grebe-IUCN Vulnerable
  • Snowy Plover-IUCN Near Threatened
  • Black Scoter-IUCN Near Threatened
  • Heermans Gull-IUCN Near Threatened
  • Olive Sided Flycatcher-IUCN Near Threatened
  • Rufous Hummingbird-IUCN Near Threatened

WA State Threatened and Endangered Species List:

  • American White Pelican-Threatened

California Condor I guess but that’s really easy to find when your looking.

I saw a Sandhill Crane flying over my house in Glenville, WV


Sandhill Crane isn’t endangered.

And the tread didn’t say the rarest species you’ve seen, it said most endangered - and the California Condor is one of the most endangered on Earth, so it definitely qualifies. And I really don’t think you can call it “really easy to find” either.

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Yet, there are well-known places to look for them; and they are fairly easy to spot if you do come across them. They are big and don’t really hide or camouflage that much.


I can think of one spot where I’ve seen California Condor and it was easy to find – a reliable roost spot. Depends on time of year, though.


Agreed, I spotted mine relatively easily, not in California, from about 1 mile away, flying over a cliff that had tell tale guano markings and they are huge with their up to 9.5 ft (2.9m) wingspan. Plus there was a big interpretive panel that said Condors seen here! I was able to capture a good enough image with the needed markings. Easy if you are in the neighbourhood but one has to have the means to get there - not everyone does.

A friend of mine says the Sandhill Crane is referred to as the Rib Eye in the Sky (that is a beef reference for those who are not up to non-veg North American slang). I think it might be safe to say that an out of range Sandhill Crane in West Virginia may indeed be endangered (as an individual).

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In any state where Sandhill Crane cannot be legally hunted, it would be illegal to shoot one. Even in states where they can you cannot shoot one out of season or without a license.

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Probably orange-bellied parrot, which was so rare at the time of my observation that I saw nearly every known existing individual just in one flock! Then again, spending a month in the marshes that consisted their breeding range spoiled me a bit.

NZ storm-petrel is a good mention. So is takahe, and some of the other NZ land birds. I heard but never saw akiapola’au in Hawaii, need to go back and try and see that some time.


That never stops poachers. If their worldview is such that they call it Rib Eye in the Sky, such laws may just seem to them like something to circumvent and complain about.

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That thinking is really only in areas where they are hunted. Here in Wisconsin cranes are thought of as majestic creatures, I doubt many hunters would shoot one (unlike swans, which are illegal to shoot but still shot regularly).

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I see this thread has been inactive for a while, but it seems like a cool idea, so I’ll add mine (based on the status iNat gives, though I’m surprised on many since they seem extremely common).

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias): Least Concern globally. Shows up on a search for “Threatened” but can’t find much information about the conservation status. Fairly common around water in my area.

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus): Near Threatened globally. I’ve seen a few of them, and found an active nest once, but they seem to keep to the woods.

Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi): Near Threatened globally. I’ve only seen them a few times, and never in my exact area.

Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus): Vulnerable globally. I only ever saw them once, though it was a large flock, so I’m assuming they’re either rare in my area or I just haven’t been in the right places at the right times to see them.

Heermann’s Gull (Larus heermanni): Near Threatened and “secure” globally. I’ve only seen one once, though plenty have been observed in my area. They seem much less common than other gulls.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus): Least Concern globally. Vulnerable and Imperiled in many US states, including Pennsylvania, the only place I’ve seen one. I’m still amazed that I was able to watch it, and that my pictures turned out not to be terrible.


Here in South Africa, I have been lucky enough to see a huge flock of about 25 to 35 Bald Ibis’
These birds used to be fairly common throughout the eastern SA escarpment all the way up to the Chimanimani mountains in Zimbabwe but are now endangered due to indirect poisonings and kill-off on agricultural lands

A few weeks ago, I saw another Ibis very close to rural settlement, it really is a beautiful bird!


Critically Endangered

  • California Condor
  • Christmas Island Frigatebird
  • Galápagos Petrel
  • Waved Albatross


  • Ashy Storm-Petrel
  • Bahama Swallow
  • Black-and-chestnut Eagle
  • Brown-capped Rosy-Finch
  • Galapagos Penguin
  • Lilac-crowned Parrot
  • Marbled Murrelet
  • Milky Stork
  • Red-crowned Parrot
  • Saltmarsh Sparrow
  • Tricolored Blackbird
  • Whooping Crane
  • Yellow-headed Parrot


  • Atlantic Puffin
  • Bendire’s Thrasher
  • Black-legged Kittiwake
  • Buller’s Shearwater
  • Channel-billed Toucan
  • Española Mockingbird
  • European Turtle Dove
  • Galápagos Hawk
  • Gray Tinamou
  • Green Warbler-Finch
  • Horned Grebe
  • Humboldt Penguin
  • Lava Gull
  • Lesser Prairie-Chicken
  • Military Macaw
  • Pink-footed Shearwater
  • Pinyon Jay
  • Reeves’s Pheasant
  • Ruddy Pigeon
  • Rusty Blackbird
  • Salvin’s Albatross
  • Snowy Owl
  • Sprague’s Pipit
  • White-chinned Petrel
  • White-throated Toucan

Near Threatened

  • Andean Ibis
  • Bachman’s Sparrow
  • Bar-tailed Godwit
  • Bell’s Vireo
  • Black-capped Vireo
  • Black-footed Albatross
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Buff-breasted Sandpiper
  • Cerulean Warbler
  • Chilean Flamingo
  • Chuck-Will’s-Widow
  • Common Eider
  • Curlew Sandpiper
  • Eastern Whip-poor-will
  • Elegant Tern
  • Eurasian Curlew
  • Eurasian Oystercatcher
  • Galápagos Dove
  • Golden-winged Warbler
  • Greater Prairie-Chicken
  • Great Tinamou
  • Guanay Cormorant
  • Harpy Eagle
  • Heermann’s Gull
  • Hoary Puffleg
  • Inca Tern
  • Japanese Paradise-Flycatcher
  • King Rail
  • Laysan Albatross
  • Marsh Grassbird
  • Meadow Pipit
  • Mealy Parrot
  • Mountain Plover
  • Northern Bobwhite
  • Northern Lapwing
  • Orange-cheeked Parakeet
  • Oriental Darter
  • Orinoco Goose
  • Pale-winged Trumpeter
  • Peruvian Diving-Petrel
  • Peruvian Martin
  • Peruvian Pelican
  • Peruvian Recurvebill
  • Piping Plover
  • Red-breasted Parakeet
  • Red-cockaded Woodpecker
  • Reddish Egret
  • Red Knot
  • Red-legged Cormorant
  • Red-legged Partridge
  • Red-masked Parakeet
  • Ridgway’s Rail
  • Rufous Hummingbird
  • San Cristobal Mockingbird
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Snowy Plover
  • Sooted Shearwater
  • Spotted Owl
  • Streaked Shearwater
  • White-crowned Pigeon

Sadly not all on iNat; this is from Wikipedia IUCN lists with several errors, so probably some mistakes


Well, I had fun looking over my life list, which I haven’t done for a long time. Most of the birds are common species, of course. The list is below.

The rarest species is the Red-breasted Dotterel. I was taken to it by a kind birder from Aukland. She got frustrated with me because I kept stopping to look at common-as-dirt species that were new to me as she tried to take me to a species I would never get to see again. We got there in the end, though. I’m grateful to her for taking the time.

Yellow-eyed Penguin, Megatyptes antipodes, endangered
Stewart Island Shag, Leucocarbo chalconatus, vulnerable
Horned Grebe, Podiceps auritus, vulnerable
Red-breasted Dotterel, Charadrius obscurus, critically endangered
Marbled Murrelet, Brachyramphus marmoratus, endangered
Northern Spotted Owl, Strix occidentalis caurina, threatened
Snowy Owl, Nyctea scandiaca, vulnerable
Kea, Nestor notabilis, endangered
Orange-fronted Parrot, Aratringa canicularis, vulnerable
Tricolored Blackbird, Agelaius tricolor, endangered
Rusty Blackbird, Euphagus carolinus, vulnerable
Florida Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma coerulescens, vulnerable
Evening Grosbeak, Coccothraustes vespertinus, vulnerable


Hundred percent relatable! True with bugs, too. Sometimes my family says I’m always looking at useless ants, and houseflies (ants are awesome, and yes I do observe a lot of unbeautiful/uninteresting bugs), but in fact when I show them the pictures it’s a gorgeous mosaic-coloured tiger beetle.


Some rare birds that I have seen include the snowy owl, the atlantic puffin, the great blue heron, the pileated woodpecker, and the chimney swift. Habitat loss is the main cause of there decline in numbers.

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Whooping Crane (Aransas NWR USA)
habitat loss to agriculture and from hunting

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