SOME DATA RE THE PASSENGER PIGEON
~ PAGE 2 ~

I commence this second page (page 1 is here) with some images of real birds & by that I mean, alas, stuffed & mounted Passenger Pigeons - all we have left of their actual physical being. Below is an image of Martha, courtesy of The Smithsonian, but first here are two mounted Passenger Pigeons that were advertised for sale on e-Bay in Sep. 2002. Along with the following exact words.

"A pair of uniquely mounted Passenger Pigeons in a varnished oak display case. The last known Passenger Pigeon died in 1914. The dimensions are approximately 27˝” (L) x 19˝” (H) x 5˝” (W), weighing about 16 lbs. These Pigeons are not classified as an endangered species with the Fish & Wildlife Service, as they were extinct and mounted before the list was originated. Also, they are not considered migratory birds because there are none to migrate, haven’t been for over 75 years. The birds are in excellent condition. I see no visable damage from insects, and their colors do not appear to have dullened. There are a couple nicks on the bottom and on the back of the display case where wood chipped away around the nail holes. As shown in pictures. Also, there is a piece of very old paper taped on the back with both the beginning and end of the paper ripped off and it says: .....ted by E.A. Beach near La..... and mounted by him. Remo.... ...mann. Collection: W.I.P. I have no idea what this means."

The high bid (21 bids) was U.S. $4,050 but the reserve price was not met. It was later relisted with a starting price of U.S. $8,000, & it sold at that price!
It is really not for me to comment, but such an item could best end up where many people can see it. In a museum somewhere. Especially since I believe that Martha is no longer on public display at the Smithsonian.

And at left above is Martha, almost the only image I can find of her of any quality.

But here is another "Martha" composite image that appears here courtesy of Clive Coy of Alberta, Canada. Clive had for sale on e-Bay, a complete year of 6 issues of 'Bird Lore Magazine', dating from 1914. They sold, I see for U.S. $76.00. I gather that 'Bird Lore Magazine' was published for the Audubon Societies, & one of the issues included a one page 'obituary' for the passenger pigeon (at left below). A rather larger image of that page is available here. But I reduced it in size from the giant image that Clive Coy kindly provided.

And here is another e-Bay item. Today quite ancient. A scan of an original print dating from 1880, one of many prints contained in 'Birds of North America', published by Jacob H. Studer & Co. in New York in 1881. The coloured plate (# 29) was drawn & coloured by artist Theodore Jasper. The book's title page is shown below too. By the time you see this page, the item will surely have been sold. (it did - for U.S. $31.50). But do visit the vendor's eBay store available here. The Nighthawk Print Gallery has three pages of listings as I write these words & maybe an item or two when you visit that you would like to buy to grace your living room walls. The images that the Gallery posts are both large & detailed - and while they are that way, I presume, to better interest a purchaser, they are to be commended for that quality. I trust that they will not object to my using the images in this way & if they do, I will gladly remove them & substitute images of a different source.

I saw an original copy of the book available for U.S. $750 & learn that it was originally published in 1878, was reprinted on a number of occasions, most recently in 1977 by Harrison House, in New York. All editions are quite valuable. The original editions broadly range from U.S. $750 to U.S. $2,200. The page which mentioned the 1977 reprint also mentioned a price of U.S. $67 which seems to be about right. Many copies of the reprint are available. I also saw a reference to the fact that little is known of Theodore Jasper, but that he was a medical doctor who had a lifelong interest in ornithology.

And here are a couple of images, one old & one, I think, new & both come from the same site ~ the site to which I directed you on page 1. On the left is a cover of the Sep./Oct. 1959 Canadian Audubon magazine, graced by an image of a Robert Bateman painting of Passenger Pigeons. At right is the recently created logo of the 'Passenger Pigeon Society'. All who are interested can join for free here.

And next (below) another composite image that I hope will please you. All the images originated, I do believe, on e-Bay & I am most grateful to the vendors who so well displayed their for sale items. Top left is most of the image from a 1939 advertisement of Travelers Insurance Company. At right is most of a splendid 'passenger pigeon' work (a 2000 gouache & watercolor), by artist Thomas A. Bennett. The site of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, of Raleigh, North Carolina, told us in a Press Release not now on site that the artist "is working on a series of paintings titled 'Wildlife of the Carolinas — A Portfolio of Natural History Paintings.' The red-cockaded woodpecker will join four other Bennett paintings in the Museum’s permanent collection. The four paintings — the Carolina parakeet, ivory-billed woodpecker, passenger pigeon, and the recently completed red wolf — depict extinct or endangered species of the Carolinas and southeastern United States. It used to be that you could, on that Museum site, see a portrait of the artist & view thumbnails of three of the works just mentioned. I am not sure if you can today, in 2009. Through this site you can buy his work.  (Go here for other fine Bennett images). Now I said above that all the images came, I think, from e-Bay. But the Bennett 'passenger pigeon' image, sure looks like an image that I found, years ago, via a Google image search on the RiverwoodHall website. The copyright notice on their site permitted the use of that image on non commercial sites such as this is, so I guess we are OK. And last but not least, at bottom left is a thumbnail of an Audubon first day cover issued Jun. 27, 2002 & an image of John James Aububon from a second first day cover of that very same date. Audubon was, I believe, born on Apr. 23, 1785 and died on Jan. 27, 1851. I will try to establish the significance of Jun. 27, 2002 which I thought might have been the anniversary of one of those dates, but is not.

My usual reminder. This page and other pages on this total site, are designed for a 1024 x 768 screen setting.

Special Pages Index & Passenger Pigeon datapage 1.