The most recent North American bird to become extinct is the Dusky Seaside Sparrow (subspecies of the Seaside Sparrow), once found in marshlands of southern Florida. The last individual died in 1987.
Other Cool Facts:
+ The smallest bird is the Bee Hummingbird at 2.24 in (5.7cm) and 0.056 oz (1.6g). (B)
+ The largest birds are: heaviest and tallest is the African Ostrich at 345 lb (156 kg) and 9 ft (2.7 m); heaviest flying bird is the Great Bustard at ~46 lb (21 kg); greatest wingspan is the Wandering Albatross at 11 ft 11 in (3.63 m). (B)
+ The bird with the longest feathers is the Onagadori, a domestic strain of Red Jungle Fowl, at 34.75 ft (10.59 m). (B)
+ The most abundant bird is thought to be the Red-billed Quelea at up to 10 billion. (B)
+ The smallest egg is that of the Vervain Hummingbird, of Hispaniola and Jamaica at 0.39 in (10 mm) and 0.0132 oz (0.375 g). (T, B)
+ The largest egg is that of the ostrich at 7 x 4.5 in (17.8 x 14 cm) (B) One ostrich egg makes the equivalent of a 16-egg omelet!
+ The fastest bird is thought to be the diving Peregrine Falcon at 175 mph or more. (T)
+ The number of bird species recorded in the continental U.S. and Canada is over 900 (906 in the ABA checklist).
+ The number of known bird species in Peru is approaching 2000.
James Bond: Ian Fleming named this famous character after the real-life ornithologist and author of Birds of the West Indies.
+ The longest latin name of any bird is Griseotyrannus aurantioatrocristatus, or the Crowned Slaty Flycatcher of South America.
Key to citations:)
B = The Bird Almanac: The ultimate guide to essential facts and figures of the world's birds by David M. Bird, 1999, Key Porter Books, Toronto, ON.
T = The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds by John K. Terres, 1996, Wings Books, Random House, New York, NY.
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