The centenary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon

Image: Kate Garchinsky

Image: Kate Garchinsky

It’s surely worth pausing today, around 1730 UK time would be appropriate (1230 Ohio time), to remember that we drove the most numerous bird in the world, the Passenger Pigeon, to extinction exactly a century ago.

Image: Carry Akroyd

Image: Carry Akroyd

Listen to, and watch, me being interviewed about Passenger Pigeons by Martha Kearny on the BBC World at One radio programme.

Image: Carry Akroyd

Image: Carry Akroyd

 

Reviews of my book, A Message from Martha.

Listen to the Corner Laughers‘ song about the Passenger Pigeon

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Nicola Pacult says:

    I read about the passenger pigeon in the BBC Wildlife magazine recently. I've still got the beautiful Audubon painting printed in the magazine open on my kitchen table so I can look at it again and again in wonder at the bird, and think about the whole miserable story. What beautiful birds and how small and graceful they were compared to my mental picture of a cousin to our fat, ubiquitous wood pigeons! Rather belatedly I lament their passing, in the same way that I lament the decline in familiar, once common, birds in Britain and elsewhere and try to do my little bit towards stemming that decline.

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  2. Nick Bee says:

    Fat and ubiquitous woodies may be Nicola, but their joyful 'swoop-up' display flight, in spring especially, is enough in itself to make me pleased that they are on the planet.
    Nick
    Ps You may have noticed that one of the 12 photos selected for the BBC's Countryfile Calendar next year is a shot of flying linnets. I can think of one person who won't be voting for it being the cover photo!
    Having seen a delightful flock of 90 linnets recently, I think I might just vote for it to compensate!

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  3. Richard Ebbs says:

    Just finished reading "Martha" today, on the hundredth anniversary. Thoroughly enjoyed it, Mark.
    The other Martha (Grier) was born exactly one hundred years before me (I hope to outlive her!). But it made me think whether we have progressed further in my lifetime in protecting our environment than in hers and regrettably I'm not convinced. Under this government the natural world seems to have no relevance whatsoever.
    Hope you enjoyed your meeting back at the RSPB today and that they appreciated your talk.

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    • Mark says:

      Richard - thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I found the Martha Grier story fascinating - how interesting that it had a personal relevance for you.

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  1. Nicola Pacult says:

    I read about the passenger pigeon in the BBC Wildlife magazine recently. I've still got the beautiful Audubon painting printed in the magazine open on my kitchen table so I can look at it again and again in wonder at the bird, and think about the whole miserable story. What beautiful birds and how small and graceful they were compared to my mental picture of a cousin to our fat, ubiquitous wood pigeons! Rather belatedly I lament their passing, in the same way that I lament the decline in familiar, once common, birds in Britain and elsewhere and try to do my little bit towards stemming that decline.

    Likes(10)Dislikes(0)
  2. Nick Bee says:

    Fat and ubiquitous woodies may be Nicola, but their joyful 'swoop-up' display flight, in spring especially, is enough in itself to make me pleased that they are on the planet.
    Nick
    Ps You may have noticed that one of the 12 photos selected for the BBC's Countryfile Calendar next year is a shot of flying linnets. I can think of one person who won't be voting for it being the cover photo!
    Having seen a delightful flock of 90 linnets recently, I think I might just vote for it to compensate!

    Likes(4)Dislikes(0)
  3. Richard Ebbs says:

    Just finished reading "Martha" today, on the hundredth anniversary. Thoroughly enjoyed it, Mark.
    The other Martha (Grier) was born exactly one hundred years before me (I hope to outlive her!). But it made me think whether we have progressed further in my lifetime in protecting our environment than in hers and regrettably I'm not convinced. Under this government the natural world seems to have no relevance whatsoever.
    Hope you enjoyed your meeting back at the RSPB today and that they appreciated your talk.

    Likes(2)Dislikes(0)
    • Mark says:

      Richard - thank you and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I found the Martha Grier story fascinating - how interesting that it had a personal relevance for you.

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  4. […] The centenary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon […]

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