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A feathered river across the sky : the passenger pigeon's flight to extinction /
author
Joel Greenberg.
imprint
New York, NY : Bloomsbury, c2014.
description
xiii, 289 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly colour) ; 25 cm.
ISBN
1620405342 (alk. paper), 9781620405345 (alk. paper)
format
Book

Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York, NY : Bloomsbury, c2014.
isbn
1620405342 (alk. paper)
9781620405345 (alk. paper)
contents note
Life of the wanderer -- My blood shall be your blood : indians and passenger pigeons -- A legacy of awe -- Pigeons as provisions to pigeons as products -- Means of destruction -- Profiles in killing -- The tempest was spent : the last great nestings -- Flights to the finish -- Martha and her kin : the captive flocks -- Extinction and beyond -- A passenger pigeon miscellany.
catalogue key
9250324
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
A defining piece of history.... What Mike Royko's Boss did for Chicago politics, Greenberg's book does for the region's natural history.
Greenberg's book will induce some renewed respect for a rich, obstinate, parallel universe...the lakeside daisy, the scraps of prairie grass and the wildflowers sprouting, against all odds, beside the railway tracks.
Some of the jewels in this trove possess a sacred-text gravitas, filled with the secret delight of discovery in an untouched landscape.
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In the early nineteenth century 25 to 40 percent of North America#146;s birds were passenger pigeons, traveling in flocks so massive as to block out the sun for hours or even days. The down beats of their wings would chill the air beneath and create a thundering roar that would drown out all other sound. Feeding flocks would appear as "a blue wave four or five feet high rolling toward you."John James Audubon, impressed by their speed and agility, said a lone passenger pigeon streaking through the forest "passes like a thought." How prophetic--for although a billion pigeons streamed over Toronto in May of 1860, little more than fifty years later passenger pigeons were extinct. The last of the species, Martha, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914.As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping detail, the pigeons#146; propensity to nest, roost, and fly together in vast numbers made them vulnerable to unremitting market and recreational hunting. The spread of railroads and telegraph lines created national markets that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons inspired awe in the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, but no serious effort was made to protect the species until it was way too late. Greenberg#146;s beautifully written story of the passenger pigeon provides a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably.
Main Description
In the early nineteenth century 25 to 40 percent of North Americas birds were passenger pigeons, traveling in flocks so massive as to block out the sun for hours or even days. The down beats of their wings would chill the air beneath and create a thundering roar that would drown out all other sound. Feeding flocks would appear as "a blue wave four or five feet high rolling toward you."John James Audubon, impressed by their speed and agility, said a lone passenger pigeon streaking through the forest "passes like a thought." How prophetic--for although a billion pigeons streamed over Toronto in May of 1860, little more than fifty years later passenger pigeons were extinct. The last of the species, Martha, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914.As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping detail, the pigeons propensity to nest, roost, and fly together in vast numbers made them vulnerable to unremitting market and recreational hunting. The spread of railroads and telegraph lines created national markets that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons inspired awe in the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, but no serious effort was made to protect the species until it was way too late. Greenbergs beautifully written story of the passenger pigeon provides a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably.
Main Description
In the early nineteenth century 25 to 40 percent of North America's birds were passenger pigeons, traveling in flocks so massive as to block out the sun for hours or even days. The down beats of their wings would chill the air beneath and create a thundering roar that would drown out all other sound. Feeding flocks would appear as "a blue wave four or five feet high rolling toward you."John James Audubon, impressed by their speed and agility, said a lone passenger pigeon streaking through the forest "passes like a thought." How propheticfor although a billion pigeons streamed over Toronto in May of 1860, little more than fifty years later passenger pigeons were extinct. The last of the species, Martha, died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914.As naturalist Joel Greenberg relates in gripping detail, the pigeons' propensity to nest, roost, and fly together in vast numbers made them vulnerable to unremitting market and recreational hunting. The spread of railroads and telegraph lines created national markets that allowed the birds to be pursued relentlessly. Passenger pigeons inspired awe in the likes of Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, and others, but no serious effort was made to protect the species until it was way too late. Greenberg's beautifully written story of the passenger pigeon provides a cautionary tale of what happens when species and natural resources are not harvested sustainably.

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