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

P3Symbol that indicates they are offering rewarding activities for visitors and volunteers interested in pursuing the themes of Project Passenger Pigeon. You can locate them, with a link to their websites, plus the full list of all participating organizations: here.



Passenger Pigeons in Your State, Province or Territory


(Compiled by Kyle Bagnall and Joel Greenberg)

Passenger Pigeons once ranged far and wide over the deciduous forests of Eastern North America. Being expert flyers, the birds were noted as accidental or causal visitors far from their normal range, especially in winter. The Birds of Wyoming, by Wilbur Clinton Knight (1902) indicates Passenger Pigeons were “accidental” in the State, there being but one confirmed record.

In 1859, Captain James Simpson of the U.S. Topographical Engineers of the Army was charged with mapping a shorter route across the Great Basin beginning near Salt Lake City, Utah to Genoa, Nevada. His corps included Charles S. McCarthy, who was “assigned the duty of taxidermist and collector of specimens illustrative of the animal and insect world. In order to this he will be assiduous in the collection of the necessary proportion of specimens and in their being properly prepared for preservation and transportation.” On September 16, 1859, McCarthy collected a Passenger Pigeon about 40 miles west of Fort Laramie, Wyoming. It remains the only confirmed record in the State.

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

As far as we know, no passenger pigeons have been found in the state as archeological remains nor are there specimens in any collection within the state.

Read Fascinating Historical Accounts of the Passenger Pigeon in Wyoming

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 Wyoming. [Schorger-WY.pdf]

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

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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