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Please send to pigeon lovers and those who hate. They too can be converted. Many times hate stems from ignorance and/or fear.
Our first National Pigeon Day will be approaching on June 13th.
Hello fellow pigeon advocates and friends old and new
This day is significant in that we are sending a message to let others know there is a group of people who care and are passionate about pigeons and are ready and willing to fight for and support them, it will be a day to promote the positive portrayal of pigeons in society, educate people about the role pigeons have played in history and show them just how sweet and charming these birds are. We love them, and others will too once bad publicity based in lies and hate is eliminated.
The news industry has portrayed pigeons as nuisances and pests, but we as pigeon lovers need to counter balance the bad press pigeons receive in the media. There are misconceptions about pigeons carrying disease, spread by the uninformed and ignorant, creating fear in the public. Certainly pigeons can use some good publicity and support. How refreshing that will be for a change! We know most of the bad press has been perpetuated by the billion dollar pest control and real estate industries --property owners who do not want pigeons or probably any other wildlife on their property. There are no 30 day Eviction Notices issued to pigeons, only painful murder on the spot. A building without a lovely pigeon sitting on top of it, peering down at his world or getting ready to take flight is creating a sterile environment in this City.
Have you noticed the aesthetic beauty of pigeons flying in a flock -- in a V formation with their leader at the forefront. Pigeons are playful and filled with joy and love when they are not fearful and watchful of their environment.
Most pigeons' day to day existence is very difficult -- finding food and clean water, avoiding being trapped, maimed and poisoned, and just being able to exist in some kind of peaceful state. Pigeons are one of the most vulnerable creatures on this Earth with virtually no way to protect and defend themselves. Pigeons have enemies in the millions who are ready to eliminate, poison, and destroy them in any way they can without any conscience. As a result, the pigeon population is rapidly diminishing.
Let us not forget the Passenger Pigeon -- extinct!
Some suggestions for National Pigeon Day are tabling, handing out literature, signing petitions (if you have any), selling pigeon paraphernalia; perhaps even a speaker. An outdoor venue may be appropriate -- a place where pigeons gather -- possibly around the Union Square or Tompkins Park area. "I Love Pigeons", etc. signs can be held. Let's get creative; however, the importance of the day is primarily to let the public and government know that there are people who care about and are ready to advocate on behalf of the Pigeon.
Please write back with your comments and suggestions. Perhaps you have other ideas? Let us ensure this day will be significant for pigeons in some way. Since it falls on a Friday, we should gather starting at around 5 pm. People in other states can celebrate as well. The importance of The Day is to acknowledge and remember pigeons in some small way, even a silent prayer in unison to send out sympathy and remembrance for the millions of pigeons killed in vain out of hate says much.
Thank you for reading, and please pass this message along.
Coo, Coo, Coo
THE PASSENGER PIGEON
How could the passenger pigeon be extinct when it was the most abundant bird species on Earth no so long ago?
It is almost impossible to imagine that the passenger pigeons’ population, which in the early 1800’s contained more individuals than all other North American birds combined, was reduced to just one individual, Martha, who died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.
Before their decimation, a single flock of passenger pigeons could have 2 billions birds or more, and there were multiple flocks of birds in the United States.
When John J. Audubon observed a migrating flock over Kentucky in 1813, he reported that the sky was “black with birds” for three days.
The nesting colonies of the passenger pigeon in northeastern deciduous forests could be 20 miles across, with so many birds per tree that the branches broke from their weight. Yet, there is not a single passenger pigeon left for us to observe today.
The passenger pigeon was driven to extinction by uncontrolled commercial hunting for their meat, which was desired by Euroamerican settlers.
The passenger pigeons‘ migration and nesting behavior made them easy to hunt in large numbers. They were netted, shot and smoked out of trees with sulfur torches. Special firearms, including a forerunner of the machine gun, were used to harvest these birds in quantity.
The growth of commercial enterprises was facilitated by the railroads, which made it possible (and profitable) to transport the meat quickly to urban centers.
By 1850, several thousand people were employed in the passenger pigeon industry. In New York, one operation processed 18,000 pigeons each day in 1855. In one year in Michigan alone, a billion birds were harvested.
Not surprisingly, the population collapsed. Although several thousand birds survived in 1880, it was no longer profitable to hunt them since they were widely dispersed across the continent. Ironically, this scattered distribution, which saved a large core population for the post-commercial era, may also have contributed to the passenger pigeon’s ultimate demise by interfering with breeding abilities.
The reasons that the passenger pigeon was unable to recover from the period of overexploitation are not fully known. Some species have been able to recover from a low number of individuals, but the passenger pigeon continued to decline and was extinct in the wild by 1900. Captive breeding efforts were not successful and the last individual died in 1914.
One theory explaining the passenger pigeon’s inability to recover is that their breeding patterns required a community of numerous individuals to stimulate the necessary cycles or behaviors. Previously, the large colonies had provided the necessary conditions, but the scattered populations after 1880 may not have had a large enough concentration in any one area to stimulate breeding behaviors.
The passenger pigeon’s inability to recover may also have been influenced by the scattered distribution of remaining individuals by making it more difficult to find suitable mates. Without their swarming flocks, the passenger pigeons also may have had trouble competing with other birds for nest sites, and nest sites may have been fewer as the deciduous forests were cut down.
Whatever the reason, it is clear that the passenger pigeon did not have a viable populationwhen commercial hunting ceased. Although commercial hunting did not directly kill the last passenger pigeon, it sent the species into an extinction vortex from which it could not recover.