Taken from "Birds of Washington State"


Stanley A. Jewett,
Walter P.Taylor,William T. Shaw and John W. Aldrich.
©1953, published by University of Washington Press, pp 767
Page 341 has data on the Passenger Pigeon.

Passenger Pigeon. Ectopistes migratorius (Linnaeus)

STATUS. Formerly occurring casually, at least in the northern and northeastern parts of the state.

DESCRIPTION. A large pigeon with a long wedged-shaped tail. Males generally fawn color below and on head and neck with iridescent metallic reflections on the back and neck; upper parts bluish slate; abdomen white and much white in the tail, female more grayish.

DISTRIBUTION. There is little doubt that the passenger pigeon formerly occurred, at least in small numbers, in northern or, perhaps more accurately, northeastern Washington. Cooper (1869: 80-81) reports that Lt. A. V. Kautz shot a pair at Spokane Falls. The same author (1870: 511) records the species from Puget Sound. Rhoads (1891: 510-12) refers to large numbers seen by Caleb Cope on an extensive prairie in Pierce County, 15 miles east of Puget Sound, but it is not improbable that these records pertain to the band-tailed pigeon.

Although Ridgeway (1916: 336) records a specimen for Puget Sound, this proves to be a bird taken by Kennerly at Chilliwack Depot, British Columbia (see Duvall, 1936: 508). The closeness of this collecting locality to the Washington line, however, is supporting evidence for the former presence of the species in this state. Lord (1866: 122) records its arrival at Colville in April and its departure in October; he says also that it lays 2 eggs generally in June on the bare ground.

Contributed by Jim Forrest


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