Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/235

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


CHAPTER XVII

The Passenger Pigeon in Confinement
(Ectopistes migratorius)

From "The Auk ," July, 1896.

IN the American Field of December 5, 1895, I noticed a short note, stating that Mr. David Whittaker of Milwaukee, Wis., had in a spacious inclosure a flock of fifty genuine wild pigeons. Being much interested of late in this bird, I at once wrote to Mr. Whittaker, asking for such information in detail regarding his birds as he could give me, but, owing to absence from the city, he did not reply. Still being anxious to learn something further regarding this interesting subject, I recently wrote to a correspondent in Milwaukee, asking him to investigate the matter. In due time I received his reply, stating that he had seen the pigeons, but that the flock consisted of fifteen instead of fifty birds, and inviting me to join him and spend a few hours of rare pleasure.

On March 1, 1896, I visited Milwaukee, and made a careful inspection of this beautiful flock. I am greatly indebted to Mr. Whittaker, through whose courtesy we saw and heard so much of value and interest, not only in regard to his pet birds, but also about

200