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PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
(Compiled by Robert Russell)
Prince Edward Island was on the eastern edge of the normal range of the Passenger Pigeon. Early PEI naturalists such as Francis Bain and John MacSwain in the late 1800’s wrote that the birds had been present here in great flocks but noted no specifics. MacSwain, writing in 1908 dated, the disappearance from PEI as 1857. There are no known locations within the province with pigeon as part of the name, nor are there any known specimens.
Last Records of the Passenger Pigeon:
Bain reported rare stragglers as late as 1891 and believed the birds were driven away by “the destructive propensity of humanity.”
Prince Edward Island Highlight:
The first recorded mention of the species by Europeans occurred here when, in July 1534, Jacques Cartier noted an abundance of birdlife including, according to one translation, “an infinite number of wood pigeons.”
Read Fascinating Historical Accounts of the Passenger Pigeon in Prince Edward Island
Wisconsin’s A.W. [Bill] Schorger (1884-1972) spent many years researching the history of the Passenger Pigeon, and he summarized his findings in his 1955 book, The Passenger Pigeon: Its Natural History and Extinction. At the time of its publication, the book was the most comprehensive account of the species. Schorger did an excellent job summarizing the nearly 10,000 historical records he discovered in libraries and historical societies around the country, but his original research notes contain many additional details.
For the 2014 centennial, Professor Stanley Temple of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has made all Schorger’s handwritten research notes available in digital form. This link will take you to a table that provides details of all the historical records Bill Schorger discovered for Prince Edward Island. [Schorger-PE.pdf]
These links will take you to a table that provides details of all the historical records Bill Schorger recorded for Canada [Schorger-Canada.pdf] and France. [Schorger-France.pdf]
Read Historical Accounts from Shorger's Original Field Notes about the Passenger Pigeon in Prince Edward Island
These sources are newly available on the Passenger Pigeon site (as of January 25, 2014). The links below give access to often-firsthand, eyewitness accounts of pigeons, the table includes a cross reference to the exact page in Schorger’s notes where you can read the full text of the account and find a citation of the original source document. All these historical documents are in PDF format in sizes ranging from 24mb - 60mb. These documents will open in their own window. Use the links below to find the page containing the account you’re interested in exploring further:
Schorger pages 1-329
Schorger pages 330-632
Schorger pages 633-959
Schorger pages 960-1242
Schorger pages 1243-1585
Schorger pages 1586-1890
Schorger pages 1891-2232
Schorger pages 2233-2556
_________________ Your text contributions on passenger pigeons
in the U.S. or Canada are welcome. Email your text notes to us. Include: first and last name, and the State or Province you reference in the Subject Line. (Return to Home Page Map of Project Passenger Pigeon)
Your text contributions on passenger pigeons
in the U.S. or Canada are welcome. Email your text notes to us. Include: first and last name, and the State or Province you reference in the Subject Line.
(Return to Home Page Map of Project Passenger Pigeon)