Audubon Bird of the Week

Great Auk

The Great Auk, part of the penguin family, went extinct in the mid-1800s.  The last pair of Auks were killed on June 3, 1844.  Over-hunting is believed to be the cause for extinction.  The Auk lived on islands off the coast of Newfoundland and on Iceland.  This large, flightless bird was about 30 inches tall, and at 11 lbs, was a powerful swimmer.

Audubon never saw an Auk in person.  He painted the Auk from a specimen in London.

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