The Passenger Pigeon
This book contains gathered period photographs, engravings, paintings and other memorabilia together into a pictorial celebration of the passenger pigeon and -- less celebratory -- the ways that people interacted with this unique species.
Printed on heavy, glossy acid-free paper, this book's primary purpose is to provide a visual context for the history of passenger pigeons. Many of its pages are lavishly illustrated with rare and newly 're-found' photographs of the birds particularly of captive individuals kept and bred by aviculturist David Whittaker Charles Otis Whitman. Also included are some of the sketches and paintings, music and poetry that the pigeons inspired, as well as some items of historical interest.
In addition to the numerous rare photographs, there is the Appendix. Written by Julian Pender Hume, the appendix declares the passenger pigeon a magnificent flying machine and then goes about providing some physical evidence to support this claim. It compares the passenger pigeon to the pink pigeon which occurs only on the island of Mauritius, and to the rock dove, a generalist pigeon that lives in many cities throughout the world. Accompanying this discussion are two lovely pencil sketches of a pink pigeon and a passenger pigeon that allow direct comparisons of their body and wing shapes, and a photograph of each species' keel bone (breast bone) where the flight muscles attach. 177 pages.
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