Bachman’s Warblers aka Bachman’s Swamp Warbler (Vermivora bachmanii) was a small passerine bird that inhabited the swamps and lowland forests of the southeast United States. This warbler was a migrant, wintering in Cuba.
An extinct species
Bachman’s Warbler is possibly extinct, and was most likely never common. The last confirmed sightings were in 1988 and before that in 1961 in South Carolina.
The Bachman’s Warbler’s last stronghold was in I’on Swamp, South Carolina.
Habitat destruction was probably the main cause of its disappearance. Its extinction is not yet officially announced, because habitat remaining in Congaree National Park needs to be surveyed.
Furthermore, on January 14, 2002, a bird reminiscent of a female Bachman’s Warbler was filmed at Guardalavaca, Cuba.
As Vermivora warblers are not known to live more than about 7 years, if the identification is correct it would imply that a breeding population managed to survive undiscovered for decades.
This bird was discovered in 1832 by the Reverend John Bachman, who presented study skins and descriptions to his friend and collaborator, John James Audubon. Audubon never saw the bird alive but named it in honor of Bachman.
Audubon’s folio renderings of a male and female Bachman’s Warbler were painted on top of an illustration of the Franklinia tree first painted by Maria Martin, Bachman’s sister-in-law and one of the country’s first female natural history illustrators.