Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/217

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

The Passenger Pigeon

who heard Mr. Cooper's statement, said he saw a large flock last fall about a buckwheat field, in the same town. This man was reported to me as perfectly reliable, and he gave me that impression.

At Port Ewen, I met a Hudson River shad fisherman, Mr. Van Vliet, who said he had seen early one morning in April or May, two years ago, a flock of wild pigeons over the Hudson. He estimated the flock as containing seventy or eighty birds. Mr. Van Vliet is a man nearly seventy years old, and one cannot look into his face and have him speak and doubt for a moment the truth of what he is saying. When I asked him if he knew the wild pigeon, he smiled good-humoredly and said he knew them as well as he knew anything; he had lived in the time of pigeons, and had killed hundreds of them.

Another man, one of the leading grocerymen of Port Ewen, said he had seen a very large flock of pigeons between 4 and 5 o'clock on May 15 last, flying over as he was on his way to open his store. His hired man, who was with him, also saw them. Mr. Van Leuven had also seen pigeons in his youth and described to me accurately their manner of flight and the form of the flock against the sky. A neighbor of his told me he had seen a flock of fifteen or twenty pigeons on a foggy morning only a few days before. The rush of their wings overhead first attracted his attention to them. But he had never seen wild pigeons, and might have