The passenger pigeon

“I was born in Manitoba and came to Portage la Prairie about 1853. I was then only about six years old, and as far back as I can remember pigeons were very numerous.

“They passed over every spring, usually during the mornings, in very large flocks, following each other in rapid succession.

“I do not think they bred in any numbers in the province, as I only remember seeing one nest; this contained two eggs.

“The birds, to my recollection, were most numerous in the fifties, and the decline was noticed in the later sixties and continued until the early eighties, when they disappeared. I have observed none since until last year, when I am positive I saw a single male bird south of the town of Portage la Prairie.”

George A. Garrioch, quoted in George E. Atkinson, “A Review-History of the Passenger Pigeon in Manitoba” (Manitoba Historical and Scientific Society, Transactions, Series 1, No. 68, 1905).

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Bruce Wishart
Whimsies. Sometimes about writing.
Sometimes about folklore. Sometimes
about the sea, or life on the coast.
And sometimes not.