Last Great Gathering of Passenger Pigeons

Crooked Lake Nesting Colony

Petoskey, Michigan


West facing side of Sign


The last great gathering of Passenger Pigeons in Michigan occurred at this location in 1878. The nesting colony containing millions of Pigeons, covered some 90 square miles of forest. After the onslaught of market hunters, the few remaining pigeons never again returned to nest at this area. This period marked the beginning of the end of the immense nesting colonies of Passenger Pigeons. Twenty two years later the last wild Passenger Pigeon ever seen would also be shot dead.

The photographer writes : "Garrie, the photos you asked for are attached. The skies weren't clear, but they had brightened considerably from what they had been. Short term forecasts don't call for any clear skies so I figured I'd better take them while I could. Hope they work for you."

"The sign is located at Oden State Fish Hatchery, at 3377 US Hwy 31 North. The hatchery is located adjacent to Crooked Lake between the small towns of Conway and Oden, Michigan. That puts us on Michigan's west side about 30 minutes south of the Mackinac Bridge. The nearest town of any size is Petoskey and we are located about six miles north of Petoskey."

Photos and location provided by Ed Eisch, Resident Fisheries Biologist

  • Other side of historical sign; Larger view of area, east side of sign.
  • Other side of historical sign; Close up of Sign, east side
  • Maps of area to locate the sign.

  • Map of northern Michigan showing location of Petoskey.
  • Map of route from Petosky to signs location at Fish Hatchery
  • Map of region showing location of Fish Hatchery and sign.
  • Also visit the Passenger Pigeon Monument in Wisconsin
  • Monument to the Passenger Pigeon in Pennsylvania

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