Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/244

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CHAPTER XVIII

Nesting Habits of the Passenger Pigeon

By Eugene Pericles (Dr. Morris Gibbs), from "The Oölogist, 1894."

THERE are hundreds and perhaps thousands of the younger readers of The Oölogist who have never seen a Passenger Pigeon alive. In fact, there are many who have never seen a skin or stuffed specimen, for the species is so rare now that very few of the younger collectors have had an opportunity of shooting a bird. And of the present generation of oölogists, the ones who have secured a set (one egg) are indeed very few.

Many of the older ornithologists can remember when the birds appeared among us in myriads each season, and were mercilessly and inconsiderately trapped and shot whenever and wherever they appeared. I could fill a book with the accounts of their butcheries, and could easily cause astonishment in my readers by telling of the immense flocks which were seen a quarter of a century ago. But wonderful as these tales would appear, they would be as nothing compared to the stories of the earlier writers on birds in America.

. . . Of course we know that the net and gun

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