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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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

passenger pigeon

hunted to extinction by 1914; vast numbers once darkened American skies during migratory flights. [Ecology: EB, VII: 786]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's one thing to slam the commons shut in the wake of the last passenger pigeon being shot.
(4) National Museum of Natural History in Cooperation with Public Inquiry Services, The Passenger Pigeon (Mar.
More than 3 billion passenger pigeons once lived in North America's forests.
That and the extinction of the passenger pigeon." (IIS 417-18) Thus Hemingway has young Tom, in fearing both the return of the ice age and the extinction of the passenger pigeon, conflating the possibility of catastrophic climate change with the already accomplished destruction of a species.
Ben Novak of University of California, Santa Cruz, said: "There's nothing in the data so far to shout at us to turn back now and not bring back the passenger pigeon."
A Feathered River across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction
The exhibition, on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., from October 31, 2014, through February 22, 2015, coincides with two significant environmental anniversaries--the extinction of the passenger pigeon in 1914 and the establishment of the Wilderness Act in 1964--events that highlight mankind's journey from conquest of the land to its conservation.
Senate before it adjourned Tuesday was to pass a resolution extolling the virtues of conservation on the "centennial of the passenger pigeon extinction."
Martha, the last living passenger pigeon, had died.
The passenger pigeon, the last of her kind, died at the Cincinnati Zoological Gardens in 1914.
Released on the 100th anniversary of the extinction of the passenger pigeon -- which, incredibly, was once the continent's most abundant bird, exceeding 5 billion and darkening North American skies for days at a time when they migrated -- the report will mean little to people without an affinity for birds.

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