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]
References in periodicals archive ?
Three of the authors are from the United Kingdom (Avery, Foster, Fuller)--but after all, the early history of the Passenger Pigeon was largely documented by colonists from over there.
Unlike most species, however, the passenger pigeon apparently had an Achilles heel.
What is most shocking about this story is that the Passenger Pigeon had, just 100 years previously, been the most abundant bird in North America, perhaps the world.
The passenger pigeon was a child of the once vast eastern North American forest, a forest that stretched unbroken from the Atlantic to well past the Mississippi River.
There are ecological worries: What if we end up bringing back the passenger pigeon and it becomes an avian version of kudzu?
Working in tandem with Harvard geneticist George Church's lab and Beth Shapiro, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, he is planning to use passenger pigeon DNA taken from museum specimens and complete the DNA sequence with fragments from the band-tailed pigeon.
Currently Revive and Restore is busy sequencing the DNA of the passenger pigeon's nearest living relative, the band-tailed pigeon, and is simultaneously gathering DNA from some 1,500 preserved passenger pigeon specimens.
Plus, the world of the woolly mammoth and the passenger pigeon is very different than the world as it is today.
The Passenger Pigeon, the Golden Toad, the Saber Tooth Tiger, the Wooly Rhinoceros and the Roger Johnson Wolf.
The first of these, 'Afield in America: 400 Years of Animal & Sporting Art 1585-1985' opens on 11 October, and includes John Abbot's delicate Passenger Pigeon (c.
An award-winning writer and artist, Albus tells the sad tales of the passenger pigeon, great auk, and two other extinct bird species, as well as those of six birds who may soon join them in oblivion, including the numerous macaws, the corncrake, and the kingfisher.