Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/187

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The Passenger Pigeon

There is a certain magazine that offers $50 for a pair of wild pigeons, and I think the sportsmen would add another $50 to it to have the wild pigeons with us again.

In the report of the Massachusetts commissioners on fisheries and game for the year ending December 31, 1903, is to be found the following:

The occurrence of the wild pigeon is a matter of public and scientific interest, and for this reason, and not because it is a game bird, reference to it is introduced here. Deputy Samuel Parker, who is perfectly familiar with the wild pigeon, makes mention of its appearance at Wakefield this year as follows: "In September a flock of wild pigeons, twenty-five or thirty in number, came over Crystal Lake." This notice of the presence of a species believed to be extinct is interesting and must be important to ornithologists.[1]

George King, guide and trapper, living in Otsego County, Michigan, told me in 1904 that four years before he had seen along Black River a flock of wild pigeons, a dozen or more birds. He said there is no mistake about it, because he was familiar with the wild pigeon early in life. These alighted in a tree near him. He said that in 1902, also, he heard the call of two wild pigeons, although he hunted for the birds and did not find them.

I believe that six wild pigeons were actually seen in

  1. I believe that this informant was mistaken — W. B. M.