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10 endangered birds of America

By: Katherine Butler on Sept. 25, 2012, 6:18 p.m.
Ivory-billed woodpecker

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Ivory-billed woodpecker

The critically endangered ivory-billed woodpecker, or Campephilus principalis, has become an icon for the symbolic loss—and quest to restore—the American bird. Among the world’s largest woodpeckers, the 20-inch long bird used to flourish in the swampy forests of the South and lower Midwest. Due to habitat loss from development and heavy logging, the bird is now questionably extinct. The last confirmed sighting of the bird was in 1987, and since then, experts have been on a quest to find and restore the bird. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently ascertained that video evidence of the bird’s existence taken in 2005 was credible. The search for the ivory-billed woodpecker continues today.