A Few Under Pressure
- Piping Plover. An endearing shorebird, with an estimated 8,000 individuals remaining in the wild. The majority of Piping Plovers winter in the Bahamas, a fact that scientists did not discover until 2011.
- Black Oystercatcher. This showy all-black Pacific shorebird has a bright red bill and red eyes, making them easy to spot. Population estimates hover around 8,900.
- Kirtland’s Warbler. An adult Kirtland’s Warbler weighs less than half an ounce. Numbers fell as low as 200 birds in the late 1980s, but conservation efforts have helped the little songbird rebound to a still-precarious 2,800.
- Gunnison Sage-Grouse. A dark and turkey-like grouse. Like the Greater Sage Grouse, males engage in memorably comedic courtship displays. Habitat loss has driven these birds to 2,000 to 5,000 individuals in Western Colorado.
- Whooping Crane. America’s tallest bird. Fewer than 500 of these magnificent birds survive in the wild. Hunting drove the Whooping Cranes to the brink – in 1941 only 15 birds remained.
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