Project Passenger Pigeon

Lessons from the Past for a Sustainable Future

View the full list of P3 Participating Organizations
by State, Province, Territory or City.

There are now organizations
this State, Province or Territory who are displaying the symbol

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Passenger Pigeons in Your State/Province



(Compiled by Joel Greenberg and Garrie Landry)

Present in large numbers throughout the state and during most of the year except late spring and summer. They arrived in October and left in March and April. Many of their winter roosts were located in low wet areas. There are apparently no nesting records.

Last Records of the Passenger Pigeon:
The last birds known from Arkansas appeared in markets. The last one for which there is general acceptance was killed in 1899 near Cabot and was offered for sale in Little Rock. A St. Louis dealer said he received 12 dozen passenger pigeons in 1902 that originated from Rogers and a single bird in 1906 from Black River.

Places Likely Named for Passenger Pigeon
There are at least 24 places in Arkansas with pigeon in the name:

Pigeon Township in Baxter County

Pigeon Creek Public Use Area (park) in Baxter County

Pigeon Creek (stream) in Baxter County, Crawford County, Logan County, Madison County, and two in Scott County

Pigeon Roost Creek (stream) in Columbia County, Greener County, Logan County, and Lonoke County

Pigeon Roost Mountain (height) in Conway County, Montgomery County, and Pulaski County

Pigeon Roost Mine (mine) in Marion County and Montgomery County

Pigeon Roost Branch (stream) in Marion County

Pigeon Hill (occupied place) in Union County

Pigeon Hill Oil Field in Union County

Pigeon Hill Post Office (historical) in Union County

Pigeon Hill School in Union County

Pigeon Hills (height) in Union County

Pigeon Roost Hollow (valley) in Van Buren County

Arkansas Highlights
At least 12 archeological sites in Arkansas that were inhabited by Mississippian, Late Woodland, or historic Native American Cultures have yielded passenger pigeon remains. One of these, of Late Woodlands vintage, is Toltec Mounds in Scott, which “comprises one of the largest and most impressive archeological sites in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Preserved here are Arkansas's tallest American Indian mounds. Three mounds remain where 18 once stood surrounded by an earthen embankment eight to ten feet in height, a portion of which is still visible today. These ancient earthworks are the remains of the ceremonial and governmental complex which was inhabited here from A.D. 650 to 1050.” (Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park web page). 149 passenger pigeon remains have been found here. Toltec Mounds is also a National Historic Landmark.

The French explorer Jean Bernard Bossu described “whole clouds” of passenger pigeons in northeastern Arkansas in 1751, and surveyor George William Featherstonaugh found “incredible quantities” of the birds in the same region in the 1830s. Historical accounts describe instances of mass slaughter of passenger pigeon flocks in the Grand Prairie area of eastern Arkansas in the late nineteenth century.” (James and Neal, Arkansas Birds: Their Distribution and Abundance, 1986)

Arkansas Locations Known to Have Passenger Pigeon Skins, Mounts, and or Skeletons:

Fayetteville: University of Arkansas

* If an asterisk appears, at least one passenger pigeon is known to be on display; this list is mainly based on Hahn's Where is That Vanished Bird (1963). Please let us know of any changes including additional locations and/or birds on display, name changes of institution, if birds are no longer present, etc.

Read Fascinating Historical Accounts of the Passenger Pigeon in Arkansas

Wisconsin’s A.W. [Bill] Schorger (1884-1972) spent many years researching the history of the Passenger Pigeon, and he summarized his findings in his 1955 book, The Passenger Pigeon: Its Natural History and Extinction. At the time of its publication, the book was the most comprehensive account of the species. Schorger did an excellent job summarizing the nearly 10,000 historical records he discovered in libraries and historical societies around the country, but his original research notes contain many additional details.
For the 2014 centennial, Professor Stanley Temple of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has made all Schorger’s handwritten research notes available in digital form. This link will take you to a table that provides details of all the historical records Bill Schorger discovered for Arkansas. [Schorger-AK.pdf]

Read Historical Accounts from Shorger's Original Field Notes about the Passenger Pigeon in Arkansas

These sources are newly available on the Passenger Pigeon site (as of January 25, 2014). The links below give access to often-firsthand, eyewitness accounts of pigeons, the table includes a cross reference to the exact page in Schorger’s notes where you can read the full text of the account and find a citation of the original source document. All these historical documents are in PDF format in sizes ranging from 24mb - 60mb. These documents will open in their own window. Use the links below to find the page containing the account you’re interested in exploring further:
Schorger pages 1-329
Schorger pages 330-632
Schorger pages 633-959
Schorger pages 960-1242
Schorger pages 1243-1585
Schorger pages 1586-1890
Schorger pages 1891-2232
Schorger pages 2233-2556


Your text contributions on passenger pigeons in the U.S. or Canada are welcome. Email your text notes to us. Include: first and last name, and the State or Province you reference in the Subject Line.

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