It’s heartbreaking and I stared at it a long time. It’s one of the only photos ever taken of the ‘O’u, a gorgeous little yellow-headed bird found in the Hawaiian islands.
As Erroll Fuller tells us in his exceptional book, Lost Animals, published by Princeton University Press, “During the 20th Century, ‘O’u populations plummeted. By the 1970s the species was almost extinct, with just a few surviving pockets. One of the last reasonably stable colonies lived on the slopes of the volcano, Mauna Loa. During 1984 a lava flow demolished the habitat.”
Lest you think extinctions are ancient history, we lost many of the animals in Fuller’s book on our watch.