Image: Henry Charles Clarke Wright
Laughing Owl, photographed sometime between 1889 and 1910
We often think of extinct animals as little more than forlorn, shabby-looking specimens that have been stuffed and preserved for display in museums; animals trapped in glass boxes as if for eternity rather than frolicking free in the wild. Yet, a few photographs were taken of the 12 extinct (or probably extinct) bird species described here before the last of their kin disappeared, meaning these snapshots have become rare treasures. Let’s remember that on this rather sad trip into the past.