#32 Eaten to Extinction: The Passenger Pigeon

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This is the incredible true story of passenger pigeons. There used to be an estimated 3-5 billion passenger pigeons. People killed them for food, then sold the surplus to local markets. With the advancements of technology, people were able to sell their surplus to regional then national markets. Improvements in telegraph technology allowed hunters to communicate where the birds were, and the spread of railroads allowed transportation of huge numbers of passenger pigeons to far away markets.

There was a time when you could buy a passenger pigeon for pennies a piece. There were thousands of hunters that just hunted passenger pigeons all year round. Eventually, the passenger pigeons started dying out, but instead of hunting less to allow the birds to rebuild their numbers, hunters would grab passenger pigeon chicks as soon as they hatched and then mash them together into make a paste.

In 1914, Martha, the last passenger pigeon in the world died at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Special Thanks to Joel Greenberg for the fascinating interview!

References:

Book: “A Feathered River Across the Sky” by Joel Greenberg

Thank you to Looperman for the Music:

Night Strings HD by jawadalblooshi Sad Acoustic by EpicRecord Wood Chimes by danke Poppy Acoustic 3 by EpicRecord

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