Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Bachman's Warbler - Vermivora bachmanii
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General Comments There are only two North Carolina records of this rarest of all the warblers, now presumed extinct. The Bachman's Warbler has not yet been declared Extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but the last confirmed records were made in South Carolina in the early 1960's (photos). Of course, there have been a number of sight reports of both males and females from South Carolina southward to the wintering grounds in the Bahamas, since that time period; however, without photos, these are open to question and are now dismissed. In fact, such sight reports have essentially ceased since the 1980's, further indicating that the species is indeed gone. Both of the North Carolina birds were specimens of breeding-plumaged males collected in Raleigh on 27 Apr and 22 May 1891. According to Birds of North Carolina (T.G. Pearson et al.; rev. ed. 1959), both birds were singing at the time they were collected. Despite what the NatureServe range map shows, the species was never known as a breeder north of Francis Marion National Forest and the Santee River in South Carolina; the birds in our state and near Fairfax, Virginia, were likely overshooting males, especially as these two sites are in the Piedmont. (Note that there are no historical records in NC from the Coastal Plain, where -- if the species ever nested in the state -- it would have been there and should have been reported by earlier naturalists.)
Breeding Status Extinct; Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status E
U.S. Status E
State Rank SXB
Global Rank GH
Coastal Plain No records.
Piedmont Two records (see above).
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips Presumed extinct.
Attribution LeGrand[2023-04-03], LeGrand[2012-09-29], LeGrand[2011-12-16]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.