Project Passenger Pigeon

Lessons from the Past for a Sustainable Future

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by State, Province, Territory or City.

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Passenger Pigeons in Your State, Province or Territory


(Compiled by Bob Russell)

At very most, possibly a rare local summer resident in the northeast. T. Pearse (1936, Auk 53: 446-447) reported a reference from The Northwest Passage by Land – Being a Narrative of an expedition from the Atlantic to the Pacific – Undertaken with the view of exploring a route across the continent to British Columbia through British Territory by one of the Northern passes in the Rocky Mountains. This report noted that Passenger Pigeons were found “as far west as the source of the North Thompson (River)” in the summer of 1863.The only extant B.C. specimen is from Chiloweyuck Depot taken on 29 June 1859 (USNM 15993) according to A. J. Duvall (1946, Auk 63: 598).

Skeletal remains from two birds were found at an archaeological site at Fort D’Epinette, northeastern B.C. (J. H. Williams, 1978, Fort D’Epinette: a description of faunal remains from an early fur trading site in northern British Columbia. M.A. thesis, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia).

Places Likely Named for Passenger Pigeon:
There are no known places named after this species.

British Columbia Locations known to have Passenger Pigeon Skins, Mounts, and or Skeletons:
Vancouver: 1) *Museum of Vancouver; 2) University of British Columbia

Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum

* 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 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 British Columbia

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 British Columbia. [Schorger-BC.pdf]
These links will take you to a table that provides details of all the historical records Bill Schorger recorded for Canada [Schorger-Canada.pdf] and France. [Schorger-France.pdf]

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

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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