Mahlburg Scholars Presents Joel Greenberg
September 9, 2014 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Author of "A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction"
The first major work on the bird in over fifty years, and co-producer with director David Mrazek of the documentary From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction
The passenger pigeon was unlike any other bird. It probably numbered in the billions, making it the most abundant bird in North America if not the world. But this huge population was neither evenly distributed across the landscape nor was it any way cryptic: the species often formed aggregations so vast they are difficult for us to imagine. As just two examples, John James Audubon described a flight that darkened the sky for three days, and a nesting in 1871 spread across 850 square miles of central Wisconsin. But despite that abundance, a single flight around 1860 probably exceeded a billion birds and maybe three billion, exploitation for food and recreation destroyed the species in the wild by the first few years of the twentieth century. On September 1, 1914, Martha, the last of the species, died in the Cincinnati Zoo. This talk explores the story of the bird and highlights the important lessons that it presents to those of us in the 21st century.
Cost: Free with admission
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