passenger pigeon sightings
Description of sighting: I was walking my dog at this time when I notice a bunch of pigeons which are always at this tree and just eat and stay on the ground. I pulled over again, and changed the lens on my camera to the long one that I use for wildlife photography. Size and color and some mottling marks on bird I've seen on museum specimens and in photos; mourning doves are very common in my yard. The pigeon made its home in Eastern North America and were quite common in Massachusetts. Some flocks were three to four miles long and one mile wide. It was like any other city bird flying from tree to tree in the morning. The bird is roughly center in the pics. In July, 1605, on the coast of Maine, in latitude 43o25', Champlains saw on some islands an "infinite number of pigeons," of which he took a great quantity. Extinct, last reported in 1914. It's a Leica D-LUX5 with only a 3 power zoom set to 10 MP. amzn_assoc_width = 160; ***** amzn_assoc_default_search_category = ""; They were extremely fast, traveled together in huge flocks to fight off predators, had extremely loud calls that were harsh to the ears, could fly at speeds of up to 62mph, and at one point had the largest population of any bird on earth (somewhere around 5 billion). As soon as the birds fell to the earth, they would be clubbed or stabbed with pitchforks and thrown into a sack or barrel for sale. Our research revealed the Passenger Pigeon isn’t simply a model species; it quite possibly is the most important species for the future of conserving the woodland biodiversity of the eastern United States. Hunters would trap the pigeons with large nets and also use poisoned corn to kill hundreds of birds at a time. I was on the upper deck of Train #30, traveling into Cumberland. It was the only one that was just very different. The bright summer sun reflected off it whenever it went by when directly overhead, the glare practically blinding to look at. One person who claimed seeing the now rare species was bird watching enthusiast and President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. Many early historians,who write of the birds of the Atlantic coast region, mention the Pigeons. It was not possible to reestablish the species with a few captive birds. Name of birdwatcher: Joe G I really truly believe these birds still exist and live among us Was the bird in the company of other birds or animals? I've posted two of the clearer pictures on this page below, with an enhanced version of each (color saturation boosted). Submit yours. The Passenger pigeon was the most numerous bird of No rth America and possibly the world. Remember: It’s your story, so why not share it in your own words! They would burn their nesting trees to the ground as well as use explosives to destroy huge timber giants within minutes. At this point I was mad because I didn't bring my phone with me to take a picture. This sightings page is meant to benefit the birding community, and I'll maintain it because the bird banding lab and other official bird reporting sites don't … The Roosevelts owned a rustic cabin in Albemarle County, Virginia, known as Pine Knot. Reports of Passenger Pigeon sightings kept coming in from Arkansas and Louisiana, in groups of tens and twenties, until the first decade of the 20th century. I believe my photos offer a slightly clearer version of the same colored bird around almost the exact same time of year. Was the bird in the company of other birds or animals? Lewis and Clark recorded pigeons in Idaho. Passenger pigeons were once the most abundant bird in North America, and quite possibly the world. The lighting wasn't direct sunlight, as the buildings put that portion of the block in shadow at the time. No evidence in the literature seems to corroborate this rumor but likely rests on some evidence. William John Swainson, in 1827, moved this species to the newly erected monotypic genus Ectopistesbecause of their sexual dimorphism, larger size, length of the tail and wings and lack of facial features. This sightings page is meant to benefit the birding community, and I'll maintain it because the bird banding lab and other official bird reporting sites don't make room for the possibility of living passenger pigeons. I don't know why there are so many mourning dove varieties with gray or grayish bodies this year, but during this sighting, at first I assumed that's what the birds along Highway 23 were. "I dismounted, seated myself on an eminence, and began to mark with my pencil, making a dot for every flock that passed. The males of this species sport bright and iridescent colors that help them attract mates. Just as I was lifting my camera, however, a red and silver 18-wheeler made a lot of noise driving past the birds, and the birds flew through the fields behind them, out of sight completely in a matter of seconds. What about this bird leads you to believe it was a passenger pigeon and not a mourning dove or other species? Now, onto your sighting. No Photo This was the first time I'd seen one from the side while flying, and was surprised that its belly was so flat. Their heads were slightly smaller than their other body parts and when compared to the size of their chests, it seemed even smaller. Male Passenger Pigeons were described as having bluish-gray feathers on their heads, wings, tail feathers, and hindneck. actual visual observation appears to be exactly what I have seen in these photos and in actual museums. About 4 or 5 years ago I tracked down a fellow (who the letter above is to) who took a brief grainy video of 2 PP looking birds and was astonished to find out that the video was taken about 5 miles from my home. It was also flying in a horizontal position for most of the distance, as though lying on its belly, whereas I often see mourning doves fly in a partially upright position for short distances. Name of birdwatcher: Pam Rotella (the photographer featured here on HoriconBirds.com) The passenger pigeon had no known subspecies. Passenger pigeon, from Pigeons, Sir William Jardine, 1835 (public domain) Within his letter, Hadley also referred to a couple of other recent sightings, documented a month earlier by Kendrick Kimball in the Detroit News (5 January). "Extra feature" only seen "live"! Location of sighting: Approximately 3-5 miles east of the eastern border of Princeton, Wisconsin, along the south side of Highway 23 (Green Lake County -- the same county where the last verified passenger pigeon, "Martha," originated) There were two "mourning doves" or passenger pigeons sitting together in one area, and that was where the dove-like bird (passenger pigeon) with the yellow beak was located. amzn_assoc_bg_color = "000000"; Passenger Pigeon Sightings from the Birding Community It landed on the tree above and I just couldn't stop staring at it. Male Passenger Pigeons were described as having bluish-gray feathers on their heads, wings, tail feathers, and hindneck. At their peak, there were a few billion of them, traversing the continent in … Other photos (previously sent) may be available from this website or I can post later but these are 3 of the best. My father has extensive knowledge of the local wildlife and beyond, but was unable to identify it. I've seen a lot of grayish mourning doves in Wisconsin this year and have been able to photograph a few of them. The naturalist Charles Dury, of Cincinnati, Ohio, wrote in September 1910: "One foggy day in October 1884, at 5 a.m. Name of birdwatcher: Matthew This bird wasn't scared of me as much as other pigeons. I was approximately 3-6 feet away from it and I was in complete shock. They were members of both the pigeon and dove family. I’m confident it was a bird due to its behavior and appearance.-Description of the Cryptid-. Passenger Pigeon in Fredericksburg, 1 In fact, in 1703 the Catholic bishop of Quebec actually excommunicated the entire species. : I know that this may the wrong forum to say this, but I have been a hunting since my teens (now 56), and I have seen thousands of doves over the years. Was the bird in the company of other birds or animals? I was also seeing a lot of seagulls before and after this sighting. I'm not sending enlargements since you can probably get more out of it if you do it yourself. I turned the car around and found a couple of mourning doves still sitting on the power lines to the south of the road, but I wasn't sure whether they were the same birds as earlier because the lighting wasn't hitting them in the same way. Passenger pigeons had largely disappeared from American skies by the early 1890s, and the last known sighting in the wild occurred in 1900. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Temple put together an excellent speech on the passenger pigeon to mark the centennial of its extinction in 1914. If you have a sighting to share or a piece of folklore to tell, make sure to get in touch and let us know! In PP-3 photo white marks on neck are branch interference and do not show in any other photo or were visible by me at the time of the sighting. Like the passenger pigeon and the moa, the great auk was driven to extinction by human activity, a new study found. It was too large and had too much Bluebird-like colors to be a Bluejay. I took a few pictures from the deck when it puffed up again and appeared to have down feathers mixed in as if it had just fully fledged recently. It was approximately 11:30 in the morning. We were moving at walking speed into the station. ***** Click here to see authenic newspaper article of Audubons account of the Wild Pigeon! Yes. This is not a mourning dove. So it’s always a treat when someone trusts their gut and lets people know that was they saw wasn’t normal. I haven't scrutinized the sightings here, as that would make birdwatchers critical of themselves and discourage them from sharing what may be valid sightings. Follow @PamRotella Passenger Pigeon. Also, road construction started on that same block of downtown Fredericksburg within a week after the sighting. amzn_assoc_ad_type = "responsive_search_widget"; "On The Passenger Pigeon" Birds of America. What about this bird leads you to believe it was a passenger pigeon and not a mourning dove or other species? 9 Passenger Pigeon. Was the bird in the company of other birds or animals? John James Audubon. To read any issue, click on the Passenger Pigeon … The last known Passenger Pigeon, named “Martha”, died in captivity on September 1st, 1914, in Cincinnati, Ohio. ***** amzn_assoc_placement = ""; John James Audubon once watched a flock fly overhead for three days—300 million pigeons per hour. My yard is a Mourning Dove haven. ***** Many assume that what they are seeing flying around has been categorized already regardless of how strange it seems, so they don’t tell anyone. I've freed dozens of them from my blueberry nets. They were also described as being quite delicious, and it was this fact that would be their downfall. Description of sighting: I was riding home with my Grandma when on the power line was a bird that looked like a Passenger Pigeon. 5:30 PM Contact HoriconBirds.com Her demise sparked the passing of modern conservation laws to protect other endangered species in the U.S.” Now, more than 100 years later, the Passenger Pigeon is again advancing conservation. This bird was different enough that it caught my attention. They have a large garden and bird feeder along with a big yard including an overgrown field so they get a lot of wildlife scurrying about on the property like mice, turtles, raccoons, deer, countless species of birds, and just about any typical woodland critter you can think of.As the whole family was settling in to eat, I sat in the gazebo nearby. I have 3 handy. Passenger pigeons used to number in the billions. What about this bird leads you to believe it was a passenger pigeon and not a mourning dove or other species? When the sun was about halfway down the sky, it didn’t return from it’s back and forth flight. Horicon Marsh information I suspect that the raptor may have a habit of hunting in that area, and that it frightened the passenger pigeon enough to fly down a city street to escape. Would you like to share anything about yourself? These birds are members of the Paradisaeidae family and are most often found in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. Unfortunately, no, though I tried yet again. Passenger pigeons would fill the skies in huge flocks, following an erratic migration pattern and often only staying in one location for a few days. amzn_assoc_region = "US"; No, there wasn't even have time to lift my cell phone for a bad picture. Sign in to see your stats. POWERED BY MERLIN. Passenger pigeon remains have been found at the Bowen site, among the most important Woodland Period settlements in the state. Finally, I've noticed that acorns from last year's season are plentiful around Fredericksburg, both in the trees and on the ground. The lighting was too poor to see the colors on their bodies, but the beak on one of the birds was illuminated by the sun and definitely YELLOW in color. Is there anything else you'd like the birding community to know about this sighting? Was the bird in the company of other birds or animals? An out of place or North American sub-species of a Bird-of-Paradise. It had a rounded, plump belly that I can only describe as an obese pigeon. Location of sighting: Back Yard, Southern Chester County Pennsylvania. I still consider myself a novice and am a little disturbed by the fact that there are not more photos of even alleged sightings. The temperature was about 60 degrees (unusually warm for the time of year). When the railroad began to become more prominent as a means of cross country travel, groups of hunters would actually follow the flocks as they migrated across America. The small captive flocks weakened and died. I was a little unhinged this time and totally not expecting it. During that investigation, I noticed that a large raptor landed on a building around the same time of day as the St. Patrick's Day sighting. amzn_assoc_search_type = "search_widget"; Where can I find some of these prints locally? The only thing that convinced me that at least one of them is a passenger pigeon was the yellow beak. No See photo above. Date of sighting: 23 July 2017 (Sunday) Identification. The bird was at least 25% larger than the average morning dove. The last reliable sightings in Ontario occurred around the turn of the century, including a record of ten from around Orangeville in 1899. There was also another, larger group of mourning doves just east of there on the power lines along Highway 23, same side of the road (south). Passenger pigeon sightings Readers can decide for themselves whether any of these sightings indicate a surviving species or not. The distance was about 40 ft. Also, I am a huge fan of cryptid birds as they are rarely reported by those who have seen them (outside of Thunderbird sightings that is). I was starting to doubt what I had seen previously. VeggieCooking.comThe classic vegan cookbookby Pam Rotella! Located on a glacial out-wash terrace, it is located on the banks of the White River in Marion County. As I again proceeded west on Highway 23, within a few miles of Princeton, Wisconsin (I returned later and estimate the birds were between 3 and 5 miles east of the eastern border of Princeton), I saw a couple of drab-looking mourning doves sitting on power lines to my left. With this huge number of birds people started to shoot them out of the sky. I garden heavily. In 1896, the last flock of 250,000 birds were slaughtered by hunters despite the knowledge that it was the last flock of that size left. It was also larger than a normal mourning dove's bill. Bird was facing west/northwest into the afternoon sun. It flew to a small tree and landed there, which was all I had time to see as I was in a moving vehicle with someone else driving. . Description of sighting: The weather was clear and bright. These colorful feathers can cover the entire body of the bird, or be grouped together in one area on the birds body (ex: the under wing, chest, neck, or tail feathers). It went back and forth, always flying in a straight line from point A to point B. Passenger pigeons fed their young with crop milk for three or four days, and then abandoned their hatchlings a week or so later, at which point the newborn birds had to figure out (on their own) how to leave the nest and scavenge for their own food. MM 1.2-5437 . However there were no other mourning doves that i saw remaining on the power lines, and so I decided to stop and photograph them. The shape of the head, wing, and tail appeared typical of an American robin**.
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