Passenger Pigeon Book Giveaway

PassengerPigeonbookAs part of the commemorations marking the centennial year of the last Passenger Pigeon’s death, Princeton University Press is sponsoring a giveaway of two print copies of the new book, The Passenger Pigeon by Errol Fuller.

Mr. Fuller is a world authority on bird and animal extinction and is an acclaimed artist and writer. His books include Lost Animals: Extinction and the Photographic Record, Extinct Birds, and Dodo: From Extinction to Icon.

To enter the contest, just leave your comment in this post with the name of which extinct bird you find most interesting.

The deadline to enter is December 9th. After two random draws, I’ll announce the winners on Thursday, December 10th.

Some reviews of The Passenger Pigeon to whet your interest:

GrrlScientist’s review for The Guardian
Grant McCreary’s review for The Birder’s Library
Adrian Barnett’s review for New Scientist
Donna’s review for 10,000 Birds

Good luck everyone!

* * *

When I was in Washington, DC earlier this month, I was fascinated by the “Once There Were Billions: Vanished Birds of North America” exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The display features four of North American’s extinct avian species: the Carolina Parakeet, Heath Hen, Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon.

In the Passenger Pigeon display, Martha, the last known of her species, sits mounted on a branch. She died in her cage at the Cincinnati Zoo in 1914.

The exhibit, which runs through January 3, 2016 (extended from the original closing date of October 2015), is well worth seeing if you go to Washington, DC.

33 thoughts on “Passenger Pigeon Book Giveaway

  1. I have read Fred Bodsworth’s story ” The Last of The Curlews” about four times and found it sad that a birds demise should come from conditions mentioned in the story. So the Eskimo Curlew is an attraction to me. If you have not read this it would be good to do so !

  2. I actually find the Passenger Pigeon to be my favorite extinct bird. It’s just fascinating to me that a bird that probably outnumbered any other bird on earth disappeared from the world over such a short span of time. Contest on!

  3. The extinction of the Atitlán Giant Grebe is an interesting example of how genetic drift and hybridization, coupled with man made issues, can lead to the biological extinction of a species.

  4. I found the extinction of the Stephens Island Wren (Xenicus lyalli), reported to have been eliminated as a result of introduced domestic cats to the island, to be a somber reminder that we must be responsible for what we bring into (and in some cases, out of) an environment.

  5. To me it has to be the Great Auk. Just like the Passenger Pigeon, they were millions on this earth that were so quickly wiped out by humans…such a shame.

  6. The Carolina Parakeet — it was one of only two native parrots in North America. Its decline almost exactly matched that of the Passenger Pigeon and was also due to overhunting (for sport, food or feathers).


    The Eskimo Curlew because it used to migrate through my home province of Alberta. (Fred Bodsworth’s book ”The Last of The Curlews” was also made into an Emmy-winning TV cartoon special that can be watched on youtube here:

  7. Ivory Billed Woodpecker gets my vote. Love Woodpeckers, recently had the opportunity to photograph the Black Backed and it is sad to think I may have missed the chance to see this unique bird.

  8. I just saw the exhibit in Washington too (the statues in the garden). I think the Passenger Pigeon is one of the most compelling extinction stories, and they have definitely left a void in nature, even though there are many other pigeons out there. My son just read Joel Greenberg’s book, and wants to help bring back the Passenger Pigeon. I think he’d like this book too. Thanks!

  9. My most interesting extinct bird is the dusky seaside sparrow. This is because my first Peterson guide indicated it as being endangered and has gone extinct during my lifetime. It holds additional interest because its habitat was Merrit Island in Florida, and one of the reasons commonly given as contributing to its demise was the drop in water level in the marshes there to control mosquitoes around Kennedy Space Center – so in essence this species went extinct partly because we landed on the moon.

  10. I think that the ivory billed woodpecker is a fascinating mystery. Perhaps (likely) extinct…perhaps not. I can’t wait to see if this “extinct” bird is found to be thriving still. Not sure if that counts.

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