At that time it was one of the most abundant birds in the world and they could be seen flying in flocks for four or five hours at a time during their migration season in the early spring, from the south to their breeding areas. With a huge population like this, how could these birds become extinct so quickly? The reason simply lies in us, as in humans. Passenger pigeons were made for flight. It is estimated that they could reach speeds up to 70 mph or even faster. Their long graceful wings were blue, and the pointed 8 to 9 inch tail was white and gray.
The average weight of these pigeons was 340–400 grams and its length was 42 cm in males and 38 cm in females. These birds had no natural predators apart from hawks and eagles, however, each female only laid one egg a year and they travelled in such big numbers that they were very easy to attack. The birds consumed acorns, chestnuts and beech nuts which were found in the woodlands of North America and when these woodlands were steadily cut down their habitat and food supplies were reduced.
There are a number of things that the humans have done to push the passenger pigeons toward extinction. One of the causes was extensive commercial hunting carried out by trappers and shippers, to ship the birds to cities on the east coast of the United States. They were also caught for agricultural fertilizer as well as live targets for trap shooting. Once pigeon meat became popular, commercial hunting started to get extremely popular. Painter John James Audubon described the preparations for slaughter at a pigeon-roosting site: Few pigeons were then to be seen, but a great umber of persons, with horses and wagons, guns and ammunition, had already established encampments on the borders. Two farmers from the vicinity of Russelsville, distant more than a hundred miles, had driven upwards of three hundred hogs to be fattened on the pigeons which were to be slaughtered. Here and there, the people employed in plucking and salting what had already been procured, were seen sitting in the midst of large piles of these birds.
... outdoors to fly, he began to dive at pigeons. Instinct told him that small birds were his natural prey. A few weeks ... cliff. City peregrines nest on building ledges and feed on pigeons and starlings. Along with keen eyesight, peregrines have good hearing ... believe their eyes. They looked up to see peregrines chasing pigeons down Wilshire Boulevard! Naturalists still have their fingers crossed. So ...
The dung lay several inches deep, covering the whole extent of the roosting-place. (Passenger Pigeon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) These pigeons did not cost very much, in 1805, a pair of pigeons sold for two cents. This was why hunting these animals was so popular. Passenger pigeons were also usually the only meat that the slaves and servants were given. In just one day in 1860, around 235,200 pigeons were sent east from Michigan. The worst period of the mass slaughter took place in the 1800s and 1870s.
During 1874, Oceana County in Michigan sent more than 1,000,000 birds to the east and two years later he was sending 400,000 birds a week and a total of 1,600,000 per year. Another important reason for its extinction was deforestation. Many forests were gradually destroyed when the Europeans started occupying America. Most importantly, the beechwoods which once covered great areas of land and provided these birds with a main supply of food were cut down. This took away another source of food, the seed of these trees.
Many of these birds also died in forest fires, which killed them very effectively. The population fell rapidly and by the late 1880s, the large flocks of these birds, which had once been so common, had become a rare sight, and most flocks consisted of no more than a few hundred birds. The last few bodies were found in most states of the eastern United States, in the 1890s. The last wild passenger pigeon died in Ohio in about 1900. The last survivor of a species whose population had once numbered 5 billion died in captivity in 1914.
Now that we are aware of what we have done in the past, how could we have prevented this from happening? There are many ways that we could have prevented the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the humans hunted this bird mainly for food and they would occasionally hunt them for fun. Just because an animal is plentiful in population does not necessarily mean that we have the right to hunt it until it reaches extinction. These humans were hunting much more than they needed for food, if the government had limited the hunting of the passenger pigeon, it would certainly still be alive.
Jane Eyre, a novel about an English womans struggles told through the writing of Charlotte Bront, has filled its audience with thoughts of hope, love, and deception for many years. These thoughts surround people, not just women, everyday, as if an endless cycle from birth to death. As men and women fall further into this spiral of life they begin to find their true beings along with the qualities ...
Deforestation is harmful to many other species as well, we should be aware that when we cut down trees for materials, we are actually destroying habitats. Nowadays, there are many species nearing extinction, for example the panda is an endangered animal. Well, what can we do to prevent it from entering extinction? Well, the main reason for its extinction is the destruction of its habitat, the bamboo forests. People in China clear the bamboo forests for farming, building and industry, however, they can use other types of trees instead and can find other places to farm.
In our world today, there is a lot that we can do to make people aware of the animals that will soon disappear from the face of this earth. We have to be cut down on the damage we are doing to the environment and save the earth that we all love so much.
“Passenger Pigeon. ” Wild Birds Unlimited | Bird Food, Bird Seed, Bird Feeder, Birdhouse, Bird Bath, hummingbirds. N. p. , n. d. Web. 11 Jan. 2013. . “Passenger Pigeon – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. ” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N. p. , n. d. Web. 11 Jan. 2013. . Ponting, Clive. Extinction: The Story of the Passenger Pigeon. ” eco-action org – ecological direct action. N. p. , n. d. Web. 11 Jan. 2013. . “Extinction of the American Passenger Pigeon — The True Story. ” Wild Birds for the 21st Century — Conservation and Gardening for Birds. N. p. , n. d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013. . “The Learning Zone: Extinct & Endangered. ” O. U. M. N. H. Homepage. N. p. , n. d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013. . “The Passenger Pigeon. ” Stanford University. N. p. , n. d. Web. 17 Jan. 2013. . LyricsDOG. eu. “US Deforestation. ” Lyrics Search. N. p. , n. d. Web. 17 Jan. 2013. .
A current mass extinction is waving through the whole planet. About sixty-five million years ago, the dinosaurs went extinct due to extreme changes in the weather that made them unable to survive and multiply. Now, after sixty-five million years, another mass extinction is occurring that would drive out as much as one half of the total number of species that exist here on earth. However, unlike in ...