You must have seen birds everywhere, but have you seen the rarest whooping crane or endangered California Condors? Many national and state parks in the US are home to some of the rarest species you won’t find anywhere. If you’re traveling to the USA to experience an outdoor adventure you can never forget, keep your head up to the sky to witness some of the rarest birds in the USA to watch out for.
The California Condor is the largest seen bird in North America and one of the most rarely seen birds in the world. It became extinct in the wild during 1987, but the remaining birds were captured and reintroduced to Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. After several years of reintroduction efforts, as per May 2012 reports, there are 405 known Condors, with 226 of them living in the wild. You will spot the California Condor with the black plumage and white patches on the underside of the wings. Its head is bald with gray skin color in young birds and yellow or bright orange in adults. To have a look at the exotic bird, you can visit the Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim, Pinnacles National Park in central California, or Zion National Park in southwest Utah. The best time to spot the bird is during the early mornings or evenings of summer, spring, or early fall.
The common puffin, mainly known as the Atlantic Puffins, is a seabird species in the auk family. The puffin has a black back and crown, white underparts, and grey cheek patches. However, what attracts the eye the most is the bright red and black beak and orange feet that contrast with the bird’s plumage. Often called the sea parrot, the Atlantic Puffin lives most of its life at sea. But during spring and summer, the bird makes the rocky island their home to breeding. The best way to spot Atlantic Puffins is by boat. You can contact a tour operator to make a trip to Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Named after its whooping sound, the whooping crane is the tallest bird found in North America. During 1941, the whooping crane’s number dropped rapidly to just 15 due to agricultural development and hunting. The number of whooping cranes is growing, but they are still at risk, with only 600 birds in captivity and wilds in North America. Finally, though, this bird is making a comeback. A whopping adult crane has a white body with a red crown and a long, dark pointed bill. But whopping young cranes are cinnamon-brown in color. The cranes look mesmerizing while flying due to their black wingtips and long neck. To catch sight of these rare cranes, you can head to the Arkansas National Wildlife Refuge along with the southeast coast of Texas. The best time to witness whooping cranes is during late October or Mid November.
The Hawaiian name Nene is given to the bird for its soft call. There was a drastic fall in the numbers of these birds as they remained only 30 by 1952 due to hunting, and other species like wild pigs, Mongoose, and feral cats used to feed on them. But, due to the hard work and efforts made to protect the Hawaiian state bird, the Nene has grown to 2000.The Nene is a medium-sized goose with a height of 41 cm. Adult Nene has buff cheeks, a black head, and a heavily furrowed neck. The bills, feet, and legs are black in adult birds. However, the female Nene is slightly smaller in size. You can spot this rare bird at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on the island of Kauai or Haleakala National Park on the island of Maui.
After researching for decades, the population for these birds was around 1800 in 2004. In three years, hurricanes destroyed the population, reducing the number to only 23. When Hurricane Mathew struck the islands of Bahama in 2006, it destroyed Bahama Nuthatch, and everyone thought they were extinct. However, researchers rediscovered the species in 2018. The Bahama Nuthatch can be different from the North American population due to its wings, white belly, and different vocalization.
Blue-Eyed Ground Dove
The bird was considered extinct till 2015, when it was seen for the first time in 75 years. The blue-eyed ground dove is considered one of the rarest birds around the globe and is hard to find outside the breeding season. The name blue-eyed dove is given to the bird after its vibrant blue eyes that match with the blue spots on the body. The plumage is a contrast to the blue eyes. The dove has lost its habitat due to industrialization growth and is only in the tropical savanna of Brazil’s Cerrado.
The endangered bird is a resident of central Texas. It is the only bird whose population is restricted to Texas only. The Warblers are endangered due to the lack of juniper and oak woodlands where they live and nest. The bird looks vibrant with its golden yellow cheeks that contrast with its black back and throat. Golden-cheeked Warbler can are in many state parks in Texas.
The Bottom Line
Despite the destruction, natural causes, and time many rare bird species have been rediscovered and conserved by researchers and authorities. Some of the mentioned birds are the most critically endangered breeds. While planning your next trip, make sure you check the breeding season of these birds and contact the concerned National or State Park.