Passenger Pigeon
Lot 1148W
Passenger Pigeon
Sold for US$ 11,250 inc. premium

Natural History

5 Dec 2017, 10:00 PST

Los Angeles

Lot Details
Passenger Pigeon
Ectopistes migratorius
Probably the most horrific story of the mass extermination of a species by humans is that of Ectopistes migratorius, known as the Passenger Pigeon. Once flourishing in North America in numbers estimated at 5 billion, early European settlers made reference to colossal flocks of the blue, long-tailed birds that were so immense that they darkened the skies. Reports describe flocks a mile wide flying overhead for four to five hours at a time during their migration from the south to their breeding areas in New England, New York, Ohio and the southern Great Lakes area. The demise of the species is linked to the development of the major east coast cities in the mid-nineteenth century. By 1855, 300,000 pigeons per year were sent to New York alone in a well-organized and sustained effort to provide cheap meat to the expanding human population. So extensive was the slaughter of these birds that by the late 1880s no more than a few hundred survived. In the 1890s the wild Passenger Pigeon died out and, in 1914, the last Passenger Pigeon died in captivity. The present specimen was professionally removed from a vintage diorama in order to present it in the current display case. Case measuring 19 3/4 x 14 3/8 x 8 1/2in

Footnotes

  • Potential buyers should be aware that this item cannot be exported outside of the United States. Please contact the Natural History Department before bidding on this lot.
Activities
Auction information

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Contacts
  1. Katherine Miller
    Auction administration - Natural History
    Bonhams
    Work
    7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, United States 90046
    Work +1 323 436 5445
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 5843
  2. Tom Lindgren
    Specialist - Natural History
    Bonhams
    Work
    7601 W. Sunset Boulevard
    Los Angeles, United States 90046
    Work 310-322-4022
    FaxFax: +1 323 850 5843
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