Wednesday, December 31, 2014
The last known passenger pigeon, called Martha, after Mrs. Washington, the first First Lady of the United States, died on September 1, 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo. Although the murmurations depicted in the trailer for the documentary, From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction, are not particularly convincing simulations of the long-gone massive flocks, the story of the extinction of a superabundant avian species is nevertheless a fascinating if unfortunate one. It is estimated that the passenger pigeon, once the most common bird in North America, had attained a population of several billion at its peak in the 19th century. Project Passenger Pigeon, organized by scientists, educators, conservationists, and others, seeks to provide "lessons from the past for a sustainable future."