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.

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this State, Province or Territory who are displaying the symbol

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Passenger Pigeons in Your State, Province or Territory


(Compiled by Bill Whan and edited by Joel Greenberg)

The Great Plains doubtless nourished passenger pigeons on their ways north and south, but provided few such records, and only one verified nesting, judging by records.  In 1886 Goss reported "a few to my knowledge bred occasionally in the Neosho Valley…about the middle of April," for the only such record accepted by Thompson & Ely. Goss also provided all three of the specimens known from Kansas, from the same locality on 14 April 1876. It seems migrants usually appeared as isolated pairs or in small groups here at the southwestern periphery of the pigeon’s normal range. Bradley discovered a large feeding flock, shooting 271, on 18 April 1810 along the Missouri. His experience was not a routine one, as the pigeon was officially accepted to the Kansas avifauna only in 1872. 


Thompson, M., and Ely, C. 1989. Birds in Kansas, 1989.  

N. Goss, History of the birds of Kansas, 1891.

Bradley, J.  Travels in the interior of North America in the years 1809, 1810, and 1810, 1817.

Places Likely Named for Passenger Pigeon:

No place-names in Kansas appear to have been related to passenger pigeons.

Kansas Locations known to have Passenger Pigeon Skins, Mounts, and or Skeletons:

Lawrence: Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas.

* 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 Kansas

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 Kansas. [Schorger-KS.pdf]

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

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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