Passenger Pigeon

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Title

Passenger Pigeon

Subject

mounted passenger pigeon

Description

This passenger pigeon was shot in an orchard on Offnere Street in Portsmouth, Ohio by Arthur Bannon around 1882. He presented it to his mother, a taxidermist, who wanted a specimen of the nearly extinct bird for her collection. The male passenger pigeon is dark brown with a copper-colored breast and stands 7 inches (17.78 cm.) high and is 15 inches (38.1 cm) long from its head to its tailfeathers. Passenger pigeons were once the most numerous species of bird in North America and provided a seemingly endless supply of meat, fat, and feathers to early settlers. Contemporary observers described migrating flocks of passenger pigeons as blackening the skies due to their large numbers. Later in the century, commercial hunting of passenger pigeons became popular. The growth of the railroads promoted pigeon hunting, since the trains could transport pigeon meat to major markets with no danger of spoilage. By the late 1880s, the decline in the passenger pigeon population became irreversible. It is now extinct.

Creator

mounted by Mrs. Bannon

Date

1882 circa

Contributor

donated by Henry Bannon in 1928

Format

Adult size bird mounted and displayed in glass dome about 15" x 6" x 15"

Coverage

Portsmouth, Scioto County, Ohio

Rights

Portsmouth Public Library

Source

Historical object(s) or artifact(s)

Citation

mounted by Mrs. Bannon, “Passenger Pigeon,” Local History Digital Collection, accessed October 14, 2019, https://www.yourppl.org/history/items/show/5013.

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