Fold The Flock…from the Smithsonian Magazine-2014 marks the centennial anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. To help remember the Passenger Pigeon, we are folding origami pigeons to recreate the great flocks of 100 years ago.
Martha, the last of her kind, died on September 1, 1914 in her cage at the Cincinnati Zoo. She stands as a symbol of nature’s fragility and what has been lost. We can only imagine the huge flocks that darkened the skies for days.
Last of her species, died at 1 p.m.,
1 September 1914, age 29, in the
Cincinnati Zoological Garden.
Here is a picture of my origami passenger pigeon. He was number 431,109 on www.foldtheflock.org
At the time of European arrival, Passenger Pigeons accounted for up to forty percent of the land birds of North America. Passenger Pigeons flew in vast flocks, numbering in the billions, sometimes eclipsing the sun from noon until nightfall. Flying sixty miles an hour, they migrated across their geographic range, which stretched from the northeastern and mid-western states and into Canada to the southern states.
In the 19th Century, as American’s urban population grew and the demand for wild meat increased, thousands of men became full-time pigeon hunters. With nesting sites holding unimaginable numbers, hunters slaughtered the birds with great efficiency.
It was inconceivable that in less than fifty years, the Passenger Pigeon would be nearly extinct. On March 24, 1900, a boy in Pike County, Ohio shot the last recorded wild Passenger Pigeon.
To think that there were over billions of these birds and then in 1900’s they became extinct.
BEHIND THE PROJECT
Fold the Flock is an initiative of The Lost Bird Project, an arts-based environmental non-profit that connects people more deeply with the earth through art. We believe that art can touch each of us in a way that ideas and intellect alone cannot. It is our hope that Fold the Flock will encourage further projects and increase sensitivity to the plight of endangered species.
Thank you for reading, I feel really sad that I did not know about this bird, even if it is a pigeon (rat with wings) but the story is heart breaking. I found this article in the Smithsonian Magazine-Aug 2014. So glad I did!