Today marks the 104th anniversary of the death of Martha, the last known Passenger Pigeon in captivity.
In 1857, a bill was brought forth to the Ohio State Legislature seeking protection for the Passenger Pigeon. A Select Committee of the Senate filed a report stating, "The passenger pigeon needs no protection. Wonderfully prolific, having the vast forests of the North as its breeding grounds, traveling hundreds of miles in search of food, it is here today and elsewhere tomorrow, and no ordinary destruction can lessen them, or be missed from the myriads that are yearly produced.”
The most abundant avian species in the world was gone less than 50 years later. How did it happen? See Joel Greenberg's "A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction" and the film From Billions to None www.billionstonone.com
Painting by Tim Hough Passenger Pigeon study skins: Field Museum Collection ... See MoreSee Less