Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/231

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The Passenger Pigeon

were through the district subsequently reported by Mr. McLean to the east and northeast of this district. There is no doubt that the difference in the character of the country east of the Red River from that of the west would present more favorable conditions for the birds, but not in one case has it been shown that the birds nested in colonies approaching the size of the famous eastern and southern roosts. Reports seem rather to show that those which bred within the province were more generally scattered over the country, at the same time being numerous enough to permit the shooter and the netter to make a profitable business of killing the birds.

All evidence seems to show that large numbers passed through the province to and from a northern breeding ground, possibly that recorded by Hutchins near Hudson's Bay and to the westward, and that they were excessively numerous up to about 1870, when they began to decrease. As to the latest authenticated records, I quote from notes in my pamphlet on "Rare Bird Records:"

"The beautiful specimen of the Passenger Pigeon that I have been able to secure for illustration is loaned me by Mr. Dan Smith of Winnipeg, who shot it in St. Boniface, southeast of the cathedral, in the fall of 1893; and, so far as I have been able to discover, it was the last bird found in the vicinity of Winnipeg, while the only specimen in the flesh which I was ever privileged