Project Passenger Pigeon

Lessons from the Past for a Sustainable Future

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Passenger Pigeons in Your State, Province or Territory


(Compiled by Joel Greenberg)

The species moved through the state in large numbers and possibly roosted but the literature seems scanty. A winter record exists for Chester County. Arthur Wayne, the state’s premier ornithologist, thought they nested within the state away from the coast, for he  saw two pairs during the summer of 1882 at Caesar’s Head, Greenville County. The early historical literature often fails to distinguish between the two Carolina's. Schorger (1955) says no extant specimen is known from the state.

Last Records of the Passenger Pigeon:
One was supposedly shot (“as nearly as I can recall the date”) in the fall of 1895 in Williamsburg County.

Places Likely Named for Passenger Pigeon:
There are at least 7 places in South Carolina with pigeon in the name:

Pigeon Point (cape) in Beaufort County

Pigeon Point Creek (stream) in Beaufort County

Pigeon Bay (historical, populated place) in Berkeley County

Pigeon Bay (swamp) in Berkeley County, Dillon County, and Clarendon County

Pigeon Roost Branch (stream) in Richland County

South Carolina Highlights:

Archeological work at Broom Hall Plantation, located in Charleston County and founded in 1711, has turned up nine passenger pigeon bones.

“In the woods and fields are plenty of wild turkeys . . ., doves, pigeons. . .” G. Milligen, A Short Description of the Province of South Carolina, 1763.

Arthur Wayne recounted that the only dead passenger pigeon he ever saw near Charleston was shot on November 21, 1885 by a hunter at Sineath’s Station, thirteen miles north of Charleston, while he was on a deer stand: “I was on the station waiting for the train to go to Charleston, when two hunters came up. One of them took from his bag a young female Wild Pigeon and showed it to me with much pride. As the bird was shot with buck-shot it could not be preserved.”  Arthur T. Wayne, Auk, 1906, p. 61.

South Carolina Locations Known to Have Passenger Pigeon Skins, Mounts, and or Skeletons

Charleston: *Charleston 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 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 South Carolina

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 South Carolina. [Schorger-SC.pdf]

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

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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