The Passenger Pigeon

William B. Mershon (1856 - 1943)

"For the last three years I have spent most of my leisure time in collecting as much material as possible which might help to throw light on the oft-repeated query, 'What has become of the wild pigeons?' ... I am merely a business man who is interested in the Passenger Pigeon because he loves the outdoors and its wild things, and sincerely regrets the cruel extinction of one of the most interesting natural phenomena of his own country. ... It is hard for us of an older generation to realize that as recently as 1880 the Passenger Pigeon was thronging in countless millions through large areas of the Middle West. ... They were slain by the millions during the middle of the last century, and from one region in Michigan in one year three million Passenger Pigeons were killed for market. ... The American people are wasteful. They are just beginning to learn the need of economy in the use of that which Nature has flung at their feet." (from the Introduction to The Passenger Pigeon by William B. Mershon, 1907)
On September 1, 1914, just seven years after Mershon's book was published, the last known passenger pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Genre(s): Nature

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 00 Introduction Maria Kasper
Play 01 My Boyhood Among the Pigeons Maria Kasper
Play 02 The Passenger Pigeon - from American Ornithology by Alexander Wilson Maria Kasper
Play 03 The Passenger Pigeon - from Ornithological Biography by John James Audubon Maria Kasper
Play 04 As James Fenimore Cooper Saw It Maria Kasper
Play 05 The Wild Pigeon of North America - by Chief Pokagon in The Chautauquan Maria Kasper
Play 06 The Passenger Pigeon - from Life Histories of N. American Birds by Charles Bendire Maria Kasper
Play 07 Netting the Pigeons - by William Brewster in The Auk Maria Kasper
Play 08 Efforts to Check the Slaughter by Prof. H. B. Roney Maria Kasper
Play 09 The Pigeon Butcher's Defense - by E. T. Martin in American Field Maria Kasper
Play 10 Notes of a Vanished Industry Maria Kasper
Play 11 Recollections of Old Timers Maria Kasper
Play 12 The Last of the Pigeons Maria Kasper
Play 13 What Became of the Wild Pigeon? by Sullivan Cook in Field and Stream Maria Kasper
Play 14 A Novel Theory of Extinction by C.H. Ames and Robert Ridgway Maria Kasper
Play 15 News From John Burroughs Maria Kasper
Play 16 The Pigeon in Manitoba - by George E. Atkinson Maria Kasper
Play 17 The Passenger Pigeon in Confinement - by Ruthven Deane in The Auk Maria Kasper
Play 18 Nesting Habits of The Passenger Pigeon - by Dr. Morris Gibbs in The Oologist Maria Kasper
Play 19 Miscellaneous Notes Maria Kasper