Festival of Birds speaker looks at fate of the passenger pigeon; millions killed in a few decades
As recently as 1860, the passenger pigeon population in North America numbered in the billions: According to more than one eyewitness account, they often congregated in numbers sufficient to blot out the sun with their passage through the sky.
Yet by the dawn of the 20th century, the bird was essentially extinct, with but a few solitary examples of the breed still living in captivity — and the blame for the birds’ demise can be laid almost solely at the feet of mankind.
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