Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/122

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

The Passenger Pigeon

covering perhaps, of territory actually occupied by the nesting, a tract some fifteen miles long and three of average width, or forty-five square miles.

The principal catch was made from the Crooked and Maple rivers nestings, and when the former "broke," which was about May 25, the pigeoners pulled up and left, many going home, and others to the Boyne Falls nesting, some thirty miles south, which "set in" at about the same time. This gave a duration of two and one-third months to the Petoskey nesting proper, though it is true that, feed being abundant, some very few birds remained around, roosting for a little longer.

The Boyne Falls nesting lasted something over a month and broke early in July; from this the catch was very light. After that, the only catch was a few young birds taken "on bait."

Besides these nestings, there was one further south on the Manistee River, some twenty-six miles long by five average width, or 130 square miles. In which the birds hatched three times, and from which not a bird was caught, as it was an impenetrable swamp, and the putting of birds on the market would be attended with such expense as to destroy the profit. There were also one or two smaller ones, east of this one. These comprised the Michigan nestings. In addition to which, at Sheffield, Pa., there was fully as large a body, and fully as large a catch as at the Crooked and Maple nestings, the birds hatching there, I think, three times,