A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction

A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction

Joel Greenberg

When Europeans arrived in North the US, 25 to forty percentage of the continent's birds have been passenger pigeons, touring in flocks so large as to dam out the solar for hours or maybe days. The downbeats in their wings may kick back the air underneath and create a thundering roar that might drown out all different sound. John James Audubon, inspired by means of their pace and agility, acknowledged a lone passenger pigeon streaking in the course of the woodland "passes like a thought." How prophetic―for even though 1000000000 pigeons crossed the skies eighty miles from Toronto in might of 1860, little greater than fifty years later passenger pigeons have been extinct. The final of the species, Martha, died in captivity on the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914.

As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping aspect, the pigeons' propensity to nest, roost, and fly jointly in monstrous numbers made them at risk of unremitting marketplace and leisure searching. The unfold of railroads and telegraph traces created nationwide call for that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons encouraged awe within the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, yet no severe attempt used to be made to guard the species till it used to be too past due. Greenberg's superbly written tale of the passenger pigeon paints a bright photograph of the passenger pigeon's position in literature, paintings, and the hearts and minds of these who witnessed this epic poultry, whereas supplying a cautionary story of what occurs whilst species and common assets aren't harvested sustainably.

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