Related Resources

Bird Extinctions in Recent Geologic Time

Instructional Resource

This Smithsonian Science How learning collection, from Q?rius at the National Museum of Natural History, is part of a distance learning program at This collection focuses on recent bird extinctions, including the Passenger Pigeon. Targeted at middle schoolers, the collection invites students into an authentic understanding of the evidence for and causes of bird extinctions since humans have been on the scene. Ornithologist Dr. Helen James is featured as an expert explainer. The collection includes an interactive webcast video with discussion questions, cross-cutting activities, an independent project, and other resources for teachers and students.

Key Terms: ornithology, bird conservation, extinction, endangered species, island ecosystems, Holocene period

Key Concepts:

- Human influences on bird populations

- Ecology of birds and vulnerability to extinction

- Impacts of human activities on ecology

- Conservation of endangered bird species

- Technology used by ornithologists