Chatham Fernbird – It Was Very Good

Chatham Fernbird
Chatham Fernbird – John Gerrard Keulemans, 1873

Chatham Fernbird (Poodytes rufescens)

Chatham Fernbirds were native to Pitt and Mangere Islands of New Zealand. They were a small, long-tailed songbird with reddish above and white below markings, without the speckling found in other fernbirds. Its legs and feet were more robust than those of its mainland counterparts, while its wings were smaller.

The Chatham could reach lengths of around 7 inches, with a wingspan from It reached a length of 18 cm. Its wings were 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches in length. Observers noted that unlike other fernbirds the Chatham had a “peculiar whistle, very like that which a man would use in order to attract the attention of another at some distance.” The bird was insectivorous

Chatham Fernbird
Chatham Fernbird – Canterbury Museum

The Chatham Fernbird was first identified, and killed, in 1868. It was still common on Mangere Island in the 1870s. The last specimen was collected in 1895. By 1900 the species was considered extinct.

A combination of habitat loss, due to the importation of goats on its native island as well as predation from rats and cats, also introduced, is the most likely cause of extinction.

More Information


Chatham Bellbird – It Was Very Good

Chatham Bellbird
Chatham Bellbird – Charles Joseph Hullmandel, 1843

Chatham Bellbird (Anthornis melanocephala)

The Chatham Bellbird is an extinct species of bird endemic to the Chatham, Mangere, and Little Mangere Islands of New Zealand. The Chatham was related to the common New Zealand Bellbird. Chathams were larger than their New Zealand counterparts and had particularly long wings and legs. The head color of Chatham males also was darker. Finally, the bright yellow iris of Chatham bellbirds was completely different from the red iris color of New Zealand bellbirds

The Chatham Island bellbird was green with a short, curved bill, slightly forked tail. Adult males were olive green, slightly paler on the underparts, with the forehead and crown steel blue, changing to a purplish-blue gloss on the sides of the head, nape, throat, and upper breast; the wings and tail were blackish. Females were browner, with a narrow white-yellow stripe across the cheek from the base of the bill, and bluish gloss on top of the head. Both sexes had bright yellow eyes.

Chatham Bellbird
Chatham Bellbird specimens

The Chatham Bellbird was last recorded on Little Mangere Island in 1906. An expedition in the 1930s was unable to find any specimens.

The reasons for its decline are obscure, but a combination of habitat destruction, predation by introduced rats and cats, and over-collection for the museum trade is suspected.

More Information

Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse – It Was Very Good

Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse
Cotton Deermouse, R. W. Van Devender

Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus restrictus)

The Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse was a subspecies of Cotton Deermouse endemic to the Manasota Key peninsula in Florida. The subspecies is only known from a few sample speciments collected in the 1930s.

The Chadwick Beach Cotton Mouse was smaller and paler than the parent species; being about 7 inches in length with a cinnamon colored coat.

The animal is considered extinct after extensive surveys in 1984, 1985, 1988, and 1989 failed to find any specimens in the wild. Deforestation of its habitat, maritime forests and predation by feral cats are likely contributors to extinction.

More Information

Cebu Warty Pig – It Was Very Good

Cebu Warty Pig
Cebu Warty Pig

Cebu Warty Pig (Sus cebifrons cebifrons)

The Cebu Warty Pig was a subspecies of the Visayan Warty Pig. The Visayan Warty Pig is endemic to the Philippine Islands, though it is now extinct on four of the major six.  The Cebu Warty was restricted to the island of Cebu.

Warty pigs have medium-sized, barrel-shaped bodies and short legs. They have short necks, longish heads, small eyes, prominent snouts, and tusks. Males generally have both larger tusks and warts than females and are much larger in size and weight. Sparse bristles cover their bodies, dark gray or black in females and young males, and silvery or light-brown in adult males.

Warty pigs receive their name from the three pairs of fleshy “warts” present on the face of the boar.

Cebu Warty Pig
A Visayan Warty Pig, closest relative of the Cebu Warty Pig – Cincinnati Zoo

The Cebu Warty Pig was driven to extinction by loss of habitat due to commercial logging and agricultural expansion and overhunting.

More Information