The Passing of the Passenger Pigeon

Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon

Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon

The 100th anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon is coming in just a few weeks. Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon, died at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. As we approach this sombre milestone, it is important to take time to remember other species that have gone extinct in that time frame,  consider those that are in danger of becoming extinct in the near future, and reflect on our impact on the Earth then and now. Each of these topics will be visited in their own posts over the next two months.

Burpee Museum of Natural History’s mission is to inspire all people to engage in a lifetime of discovery and learning about the natural world, through preservation and interpretation. An increasingly important facet of learning, preserving and interpreting is helping people understand conservation efforts and how humans impact the ecosystems that they inhabit. Much like with black bears, cougars, and grey wolves returning to the region; understanding how an ecosystem operates and what conservation means are important parts of understanding legal measures, news articles, and conservation policies.

Although it is too late to save our native Passenger Pigeon population, they do have an important lessons to teach us about human impact and responsibility. We hope you’ll join us in remembering the Passenger Pigeon and learning from its extinction. Burpee Museum will be hosting Joel Greenberg, author of “A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction” on September 9th for a Mahlburg Scholars lecture about the extinction of Passenger Pigeons. Burpee Museum is also partnering with Project Passenger Pigeon to host an exhibit about Passenger Pigeons at the museum that will feature the museum’s own Passenger Pigeon specimens.


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