Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/31

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CHAPTER II
The Passenger Pigeon
(Columba Migratoria)
From "American Ornithology," by Alexander Wilson


THIS remarkable bird merits a distinguished place in the annals of our feathered tribes—a claim to which I shall endeavor to do justice; and, though it would be impossible, in the bounds allotted to this account, to relate all I have seen and heard of this species, yet no circumstance shall be omitted with which I am acquainted (however extraordinary some of these may appear) that may tend to illustrate its history.

The wild pigeon of the United States inhabits a wide and extensive region of North America, on this side of the Great Stony Mountains, beyond which, to the westward, I have not heard of their being seen. According to Mr. Hutchins, they abound in the country around Hudson's Bay, where they usually remain as late as December, feeding, when the ground is covered with snow, on the buds of the juniper. They spread over the whole of Canada; were seen by Captain Lewis and his party near the Great Falls of the Missouri, upwards