Tag Archives: passenger pigeon

A Passing Bird

Stuffed male passenger pigeon.

On March 24th 1900 a boy in Ohio shot the last recorded Passenger Pigeon. The last captive Passenger Pigeon died in her cage at Cincinnati Zoo 14 years later.

 

Passenger Pigeons were once so numerous there were stories of flocks millions or even billions of birds big that would darken the sky for a day as they passed.

 

When Europeans came to the Americas, 40% of all the birds in North America were Passenger Pigeons. Their range spread from Canada through to the Northeastern and Midwestern US down to the Southern states. It’s estimated they might have been the most common bird in the entire world.

 

John James Audubon (who shot many many birds for his portraits) described a flock in 1933 that was a mile wide and blocked the sun for three days.

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