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Specimens of the passenger pigeon, a species of bird that was totally eliminated from North America, are preserved in the University of Minnesota’s ornithology collection. ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS/Scott Takushi

University of Minnesota researcher examines bird’s extinction

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A hundred years ago, Martha died and an environmental cautionary tale was born.

On Sept. 1, 1914, Martha, a passenger pigeon, fell off her perch at the Cincinnati Zoo and dropped dead. She was 29.


She also was the last known example of her species, the sole survivor of what once was the most numerous bird in North America and possibly the world.

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