The Final Tale of a Passenger Pigeon name "George"


Thou'rt gone,

The abyss of Heaven hath swallowed up thy form;

Yet on my heart deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,

And shall not soon depart!

William Cullen Bryant

Maybe, Maybe Not?

Well, I feel very fortunate to have gotten as far as I did in my quest. It is unfortunate that the first home of this Passenger Pigeon may never be known beyond what I have discoverd. I would still like to find out when, where, and by whom was it taken? But perhaps too many years and lives have passed to recall that information.

When could it have been collected?

This Passenger Pigeon was probably taken from the wild some time between 1870-1888. Considering the excellent condition of the specimen, it is unlikely to have come from a much earlier decade, but even that is possible.

Records indicate that Passenger Pigeons were still common in some areas of the US during the ten year span from 1870-1880. The very LAST GREAT NESTING occurred in Petosky, Michigan in 1878 . There is a good possibility that this specimen could have been taken after 1880 but before 1888. Passenger Pigeons became very uncommon after 1888, but there are records of numerous specimens taken as late as 1886 and even 1888. However, it is unlikely that the Pigeon would have been killed after 1890. It seems from that point on there are almost no specimens on record. It appears that by 1890 the doomed fate of the few remaining wild Passenger Pigeons was sealed. They were now very rare, and the few that were left were seldom seen.

Factoid, in 1969, a world wide search for Passenger Pigeon specimens held by museums as well as in as those in private collections located only 1532 preserved specimens known to exist! No doubt a some were not found but even so, it is a rather small legacy for a bird that numbered in the billions only 100 years earlier. taken from: Where is that Vanished Bird by Paul Hahn.

What more could I learn?

The artist signature on painting inside the case, is all that is left to decipher. I suppose this would be a near impossible task. Perhaps the identity of the artist would yield more information about the birds place of origin.

One can assume:

  • this was not the first nor only painting done by the artist.
  • that perhaps other similar mounted specimens bear the same artistry and signature.
  • probably other forms of art, other paintings were done by this same artist and bear his signature
  • and finally, somewhere, someone in the US, who is familiar with taxidermy or paintings from the late 1800's might recognize the signature and know who the painter was and where he lived, and provide more information about the origin of this Passenger Pigeon.

The signature (view #1) appears to the artist' "logo." It looks like a series of 2 or 3 interconnecting letters none of which are legible to me. Some who look at it, say they see and "S", others see and "H"(View #2). I can't make any letter out and unfortunately, because of the signatures location, under the tail of the bird, it has been difficult to photograph. Here is a View #3.

While I believe someone could recognize this artist's work or signature, I think the quest is beyond my capabilities, ... at least for the moment. I hope you have enjoyed the story as it unfolded. It was quite a rewarding adventure for me to pursue the trail of this Passenger Pigeon. If any of you have comments or suggestions please let me hear from you. send me an email


The End? Not likely...A final somber note.

During these past months after acquiring this Passenger Pigeon, I have come to realize what a real privilege it is to have this bird in my care. This is not just any bird, and I do not take it lightly! I also have come to realize that I am but one of many who have held this Passenger Pigeon for a period of time, and for the time being I am only the temporary custodian of this Passenger Pigeon. One day someone will take my place, and hopefully continue to give "George" the recognition and remembrance his race truly deserves.

While we will never see any Passenger Pigeons fly over head as they did in the 1800's, we must never forget what those who came before us saw! It is our duty to keep that memory alive, for the birds and for all generations to come.

Thank you for visiting

Garrie Landry

Why I chose the Name "George"

My friend Mariana Titus of Santa Barbara, CA was responsible for visiting George Puth and picking up the Passenger Pigeon. She and her husband Richard packed it very well for the journey to Louisiana. Mariana really thought I needed to name the bird. So with her insistence and after some thought, I selected the name "George". Two of previous owners of the pigeon were both named George, plus Martha the last Passenger Pigeon was name after Martha Washington, wife of George Washington. So it seems very appropriate to name this bird in honor of the GEORGES, past and present.


More Photos of "George"my Passenger Pigeon.


1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 -11 - 12


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've had to create a new Guestbook, as the old one kept crashing, so please sign, especially if you signed the old one. Thanks Garrie

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