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Photo Credit

Laurel Lamb, Curator, University of Arkansas Museum

Object Type

Ectopistes migratorius, Body Mount


Spring 5-1-2021


A museum (like ours) is about the only place you’ll find one of these birds today.

Here’s why: This is a passenger pigeon. They were once the most abundant birds in North America. Their flocks had millions and could darken the sky for hours.

In the 1800s, unprecedented hunting of the birds occurred because people believed their numbers were inexhaustible. The last passenger pigeon died in a zoo in 1914. It was immediately sent off to the Smithsonian to be preserved for future generations like us.

Numerous other birds went extinct in the late 1800s due to excess hunting. In response, one of the earliest wildlife protection laws was passed – the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Object Housed

University of Arkansas Museum

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