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BIRDS OF LOUISIANA
George H. Lowery, Jr.
Louisiana State University Press
3rd Edition 1974
Pages 360-361 excerpt
The story of the Passenger Pigeon has been told many times, but it should be repeated over and over again if only to remind us continually that eve the most abundant of our natural resources must never be regarded as inexhaustible-that wise use and management are essential if our generation is to pass on to the next the heritage it received from the generations that went before. There was a time not so very long ago when this fine North American bird was so abundant that in migration it passed in flocks that numbered into the millions-flocks that darkened the sky and that, by cutting off the suns rays, cast huge shadows on the earth.
Apparently the last individuals to be seen in Louisiana were a few observed in the vicinity of Prairie Mer Rouge, in Morehouse Parish, in the winter of 1902-1903. The species passed completely from the face of the earth on September 1, 1914, when a captive bird died in the Cincinnati Zoological Park.
Bird Life of Louisiana
Harry C. Oberholser
State of Louisiana Dept. of Conservation
Bulletin no. 28, ©1938
pages 319-321 excerpt
The Passenger Pigeon was formerly an abundant winter visitor, at least from November to February, in most of Louisiana, even the southern portion, and recorded south to Rayne and Mandeville: but it is now, of course, extinct in the state as elsewhere.
The earliest record of this interesting bird for Louisiana was by the historian Le Page de Pratz, who found it abundant along the Mississippi River about 1758. John J. Audubon records that it was abundant in Louisiana in 1826. Ambrose Daigre states that this pigeon was reported to be numberous about 1850 near Pineville. There are at the present time specimens in the museum of Tulane University, collected at Rayne, January 16, 1888, by George E. Beyer; and at Covington, November 23, 1874, and December 5, 1874. The bird from Rayne is one of three obtained then by Prof. Beyer, who saw several large flocks there in 1888. Edward Butler states that he saw the species in the parish of West Feliciana in 1891. Robert Butler writes that Mrs. Eugene Ellis and a companion killed one bird hear Bains sometime during the autumn of 1895; and this is probably the last individual actually taken in Louisiana. Two others were obtained at Mandeville by J. H. Lamb, from a flock of 5 birds on January 26, 1895, which are seemingly the same individuals previously reported as having be captured at the same place in February, 1895. Apparently the latest report of the species in the state is by the well known hunters B. V. Lilly and I. H. Alford of the Prairie Mer Rouge, who informed Ned Hollister in 1904 that up to the winter of 1903 to 1904 they had seen a few wild pigeons each winter. Mr. Lilly said that during the winter of 1902 to 1903 he saw about 40 to 50 birds, although none was seen in the winter of 1903 to 1904.
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