Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/94

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70
The Passenger Pigeon

and at one roost only, I quote the following extract from an interesting article "On the Habits, Methods of Capture, and Nesting of the Wild Pigeon," with an account of the Michigan nesting of 1878, by Prof. H. B. Roney, in the Chicago Field (Vol. X, pp. 345-347):

"The nesting area, situated near Petoskey, covered something like 100,000 acres of land, and included not less than 150,000 acres within its limits, being in length about 40 miles by 3 to 10 in width. The number of dead birds sent by rail was estimated at 12,500 daily, or 1,500,000 for the summer, besides 80,352 live birds; an equal number was sent by water. We have," says the writer, "adding the thousands of dead and wounded ones not secured, and the myriads of squabs left dead in the nest, at the lowest possible estimate, a grand total of one billion pigeons sacrificed to Mammon during the nesting of 1878."

The last mentioned figure is undoubtedly far above the actual number killed during that or any other year, but even granting that but a million were killed at this roost, the slaughter is enormous enough, and it is not strange that the number of these pigeons are now few, compared with former years.

Capt. B. F. Goss, of Peewaukee, Wisconsin, writes me: "Ten years ago the wild pigeon bred in great roosts in the northern parts of Wisconsin, and it also bred singly in this vicinity; up to six or eight years ago they were plenty. The nest was a small, rough plat-