Endangered frequent fliers [slideshow]
Photo: Roy LoweWe love birds. They’re beautiful. They do really cool things like building elaborate nests — without thumbs! And they can fly. What’s cooler than flying? Okay, maybe X-ray vision, but still. We love birds. Which is why we were stricken — though not surprised — by the recent State of the Birds [PDF] report from Cornell University’s famed Ornithology Lab.
If we may summarize, the state of our feathered friends is: sorry. Climate change-related pollution, rising sea temperatures and sea levels and more threaten many of America’s 800 avian species. The prospects are especially dreary for Hawaiian island species and for sea birds like the albatross. The future doesn’t look too rosy for coastal shorebirds, forest birds, or arctic and alpine dwellers either. Oy.
Anyway, we’ve assembled photos of some of the most threatened species as a way to remind us of what we’ll be missing if we succeed in driving them all to extinction.