passenger pigeon

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passenger pigeon:

see pigeonpigeon,
common name for members of the large family Columbidae, land birds, cosmopolitan in temperate and tropical regions, characterized by stout bodies, short necks, small heads, and thick, heavy plumage.
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Passenger Pigeon

 

(Ectopistes migratorius), an extinct bird of the family Columbidae. The passenger pigeon was about 30 cm long. The head and rump were grayish blue, the back dull brown, and the breast reddish fawn. Until the 1890’s the species was common in the hardwood forests of eastern North America from southern Canada to North Carolina; it wintered in the southern USA. Ruthless destruction of the enormous migrating flocks resulted in the total extinction of the passenger pigeon. The last mass nesting was in 1883, the last bird in the wild was observed in 1899, and the last living specimen died at the zoological garden in Cincinnati on Sept. 1,1914.

passenger pigeon

hunted to extinction by 1914; vast numbers once darkened American skies during migratory flights. [Ecology: EB, VII: 786]
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