Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/240

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205
The Pigeon in Confinement

LETTERS OF COMMENT FROM CHIEF POKAGON.

Hartford, Mich., Dec. 17, 1896.

Ruthven Deane, Chicago, Ill.

Dear Sir:—Your article on wild pigeons (O-me-me-oo) received and just read with much interest. I am now satisfied you are deeply interested in those strange birds, or you would not have gone to Milwaukee to see them. I would like to have Whittaker's full name and address so I can learn the come-out of that little flock. You note his flock stands zero weather. Many times in my life I have known O-me-me-oo, while nesting, to be obliged to search for food in from four to six inches of snow, and have seen the snow at such times upturned and intermixed with forest leaves for miles and miles. They would move out of the nesting grounds in vast columns, flying one over the other. I have seen them at such times reminding me of a vast flood of water rolling over a rocky bottom, sending the water in curved lines upwards and falling farther down the stream.

I have seen them many times building nests by the thousand within sight, both male and female assisting in building the nest. I have counted the number of sticks used many times; they number from seventy to one hundred and ten, sometimes so frail I have plainly seen the eggs from the ground.

I visited a nesting north of Kilburn City, Wis., about