we compared historic records from 1879 until 1952 of birds of santa elena region (colombian central andes) with those from a recent survey in three forest fragments of 41, 129 and 136 ha. only 64 out of the 132 original species still remain in the three fragments; 78%, 66% and 63% of the original species have disappeared from the fragments. species with high habitat specificity, those with body mass of 51-100 g, those which forage in the arboreal stratum, and those which forage on trunks showed a tendency to suffer more extinctions than expected. however, there were no statistical differences between observed and expected proportions of extinctions in any of the categories (trophic guild, foraging stratum, body mass and habitat specificity), indicating that all the bird groups presented the same vulnerability to extinction. mean body mass of extinct birds was similar to that of the birds still remaining in the fragments. species from the families grallaridae, cotingidae, thraupidae, trogonidae and from the subfamily dendrocolaptinae were the most affected. we discuss why the evaluated ecological features could not be related with local extinction of bird species in these forest fragments.