Ectopistes migratorius 

The Passenger Pigeon




Citation: Halliday, T. (1978). Vanishing birds: Their natural history and conservation.
New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.









The Passenger Pigeon

          The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was a very elegant bird.  It had a slender body with long wings and powerful breast muscles that were used for their prolonged, fast flights.  They were a slaty-blue on their backs and a deep pink color on their breasts with bright red eyes.  They molt once every August and September.  A jerky walk and nod where only their head moved were two physical habits of the passenger pigeon.  These birds also did not have a soft coo like most of their close relatives instead they were quite loud, especially when breeding.  When a passenger pigeon became frightened it would beat its wings together to sound an alarm.  If an alarm was sounded or one bird flew away the entire flock would follow.  Passenger pigeons were highly gregarious always traveling in large flocks.  The largest flock ever described was in Wisconsin and covered 850 square miles. The flocks also had an itinerant habit meaning they only stayed in one area until the food supply was gone.  The passenger pigeon was given its name based on these habits.  The passenger pigeonís main predators were humans, wolves, foxes, lynxes, cougars, bears, raccoons, opossums, pole-cats, eagles, hawks, vultures, and owls.  The passenger pigeon became extinct in 1914. 




            Hello! Welcome to my website on the Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius). My name is Maggie Brown and I am currently a student at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse.  These pages were created at part of a course requirement for BIO 203.  This website was last updated on April 24th, 2007.


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