Passenger Pigeon cover

Passenger Pigeon

William B. Mershon (1856-1943)

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

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"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.