Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/224

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191
The Pigeon in Manitoba

the market was in no way proportionately lessened in the vicinity of these smaller colonies as long as a sufficient number of the birds remained to make the traffic profitable, it can at once be seen that this continued drain upon these smaller colonies, when other conditions were becoming more difficult for the birds to contend with, would be instrumental in depleting the entire former main column to a point when netting and shooting were no longer profitable; and, the remnant of these colonies having to run a gantlet of persecution over their entire course of migration to and from winter quarters, there could be but one result to such proceeding, and that one we now face; extermination.

Of these records made during the pigeons' day, as we might call it, the earliest we have are those made by a Mr. T. Hutchins, who was a Hudson's Bay Company trader, operating for some twenty-five years in the district adjacent to Hudson's Bay, during which time he made copious notes of the birds frequenting that district, which were afterwards published by Pennant in his "Arctic Zoölogy" in 1875. He says in part:

"The first pigeon I shall take note of is one I received at Severn in 1771; and, having sent it home to Mr. Pennant, he informed me that it was the migratoria species. They are very numerous inland and visit our settlement in the summer. They are plentiful about Moose Factory and inland, where they breed, choosing