Bachman's Warbler

Bachman's Warbler

Bachman's Warbler by Megan Kissinger
Species & Artwork Details
Status: 
Critically Endangered
Family: 
PARULIDAE
Order: 
PASSERIFORMES
Genus: 
Vermivora
Species: 
bachmanii
Population trend: 
unknown
Authority: 
(Audubon, 1833)
Medium: 
Acrylic
The saddest thing to see when doing a quick Wikipedia search on any living thing is to see it is written in the past tense: "Bachman's warbler (Vermivora bachmanii) was a small passerine migratory bird that is probably extinct." This small, yellow passerine was native to the swamps and wet hardwood forests of the Southeastern United States, migrating into Cuba seasonally. They were thought to be associated with both palmettos and canebrakes and the dwindling of both of these habitats may be part of the cause of their extinction. In researching this bird to depict it in a painting, I found there are surprisingly few photos of Bachman's Warblers due to their extinct status. Sadly, most of the photos are of bird skins in natural history museum collections. There was one very fuzzy color photo taken of the bird and one black and white photo of a Bachman's Warbler nest in Blackberry canes. I read that places such as blackberry brambles were a common place to find their nests when they were still alive. Because of that, I painted these male and female Bachman's Warblers in a thicket of Blackberry cane. There have been recent but unconfirmed sightings of Bachman's Warblers in a few areas of the south so maybe there is a small hope. For this reason, we must work to restore the habitats of endangered birds everywhere. This may be the last chance for some species. We are all connected in this giant web of life and a loss of any part of the puzzle is a blow to us all.