Within our Rare Birds exhibit you will meet birds from around the world that are all listed on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List for helping determine an animal’s risk factors to becoming extinct. On display you will find birds from all categories of the list, including the most serious, Extinct in the Wild.
Our birds also represent a wide variety of reasons for decline of wild species. Island species have always had a more difficult time recovering once their numbers start to decline, and the Extinct in the Wild Socorro doves and Endangered pink pigeons are just two examples of this.
Deforestation and agriculture are other major factors leading to declines in bird species; some from loss of food sources, some from loss of habitat. The Endangered northern helmeted curassow, Vulnerable Reeves’s pheasant, Near-Threatened great argus, and Endangered great green macaw have all been effected by deforestation. Changes in land uses have lead to declines with the Near Threatened northern bobwhite.
The incredible beauty of birds has lead to their decline as well. People have long collected birds, like the Vulnerable Reeves’s pheasant, for their beautiful feathers. Or the birds themselves for the pet trade, like the Vulnerable blue-headed macaw. One species, the Vulnerable kea, actually had a bounty put on its head for nearly 100 years causing its decline.
Not all birds are rare, not even all the birds in our exhibits. Some birds have managed well despite the problems going on in their environments. You’ll find our rare birds living with other precious birds such as the black-throated magpie jays, green magpies, and roadrunners.
In this exhibit you will also learn what Tracy Aviary is doing to help endangered birds, as well as little things that all of us can do in our day-to-day lives to alleviate the challenges faced by wild birds around the world and right here in our own backyard.