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Bachman’s Warbler

Bachman’s Warbler (Vermivora bachmanii), was a small passerine bird that inhabited the swamps and lowland forests of the southeast United States. This warbler was a migrant, wintering in Cuba. It is possibly extinct now, and was most likely never common. The last confirmed sighting was in 1988 and before that in 1961 in South Carolina. Destruction of its natural habitat is the most likely cause of its disappearance.

It is not officially labeled as extinct because habitat remaining in Congaree National Park needs to be surveyed. Furthermore, on January 14, 2002, a bird reminiscent of a female Bachman’s Warbler was filmed at Guardalavaca, Cuba. If the identification is correct it would imply that a breeding population managed to survive undiscovered for decades.

This bird was discovered in 1832 by the Reverend John Bachman, who presented study skins and descriptions to his friend and collaborator, John James Audubon. Audubon never saw the bird alive but named it in honor of Bachman.

Audubon’s folio renderings of a male and female Bachman’s Warbler were painted on top of an illustration of the Franklinia tree first painted by Maria Martin, Bachman’s sister-in-law and one of the country’s first female natural history illustrators.

Bachman8217s Warbler


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