Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/212

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CHAPTER XV

News from John Burroughs

WHEN the following report from so high an authority as John Burroughs appeared in Forest and Stream it seemed too important to be overlooked. I therefore ventured to open a correspondence with this famous naturalist, even suggesting that his informants might have mistaken some other species of migratory bird for a flight of wild pigeons. I had once made a similar mistake in Texas when the northern migration of the curlews was in full flight. Countless flocks of them were streaming past at a considerable distance from me, and I could have sworn they were wild pigeons until I was lucky enough to see them at much closer range. Even now the newspapers east and west contain an annual crop of wild pigeon reports, most of which are to be found fake reports upon careful investigation. It has happened often that hunters and woodsmen mistake the wild drove for the pigeon, and refuse to believe otherwise. The correspondence explains itself, however, and is a valuable contribution to the subject in hand.

W. B. M.