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At 09:38 AM 04/02/1999 +0000, you wrote:
>a couple of questions. Are there any flightless passerines? What is the
>smallest bird to have lost the power of flight?
>regards to all.
The only passerine regarded as possibly flightless was the Stephens Island
Rock Wren (Xenicus lyalli) of New Zealand, though a number of passerines
fly very seldom, if at all. The Stephens Island bird was, famously,
discovered and exterminated about a century ago by the lighthouse-keeper's cat.
The smallest living flightless bird is the Inaccessible Island Rail
(Atlantisea rogersi) of Tristan da Cunha. The average weight of 6 female
specimens was 38.9 grams.
Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2 mailto:email@example.com