Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/17

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FOR the last three years I have spent most of my leisure time in collecting as much material as possible which might help to throw light on the oft-repeated query, "What has become of the wild pigeons?" The result of this labor of love is scarcely more than a compilation, and I am under many obligations to those who have so cheerfully assisted me. I have given them credit by name in connection with their various contributions, but I wish that I might have been able to give them the more finished and literary setting that would have been within the reach of a trained writer or scientist. I am merely a business man who is interested in the Passenger Pigeon because he loves the outdoors and its wild things, and sincerely regrets the cruel extinction of one of the most interesting natural phenomena of his own country. If I have been able to make a compilation that otherwise would not have been available for the interested reader, I need make no further apologies for the imperfect manner of my treatment of this subject.

It is hard for us of an older generation to realize that as recently as 1880 the Passenger Pigeon was thronging in countless millions through large areas of the Middle West, and that in our boyhood we could find no exag-