Passenger pigeon Facts

Passenger pigeon Facts
Passenger pigeon was North American species of pigeon that lived in deciduous forests during the mating season, and in the pine forests and swamps during the winter. Population of around 5 billion passenger pigeons existed in the wild, before they were wiped out from our planet 100 years later thanks to the accelerated deforestation and uncontrolled hunting. Last passenger pigeon was seen in the wild in 1900. Martha was the last known captive specimen of passenger pigeon. She died in Cincinnati zoo in 1914, at the age of 29 years.
Interesting Passenger pigeon Facts:
Passenger pigeon was 15.5 to 16.5 inches long and it had 12 to 14 ounces of weight.
Passenger pigeon had slate blue head, gray plumage on the back, bluish wings with black spots, red chest and grey and white tail. Males were more brightly colored than females.
Passenger pigeon had small head and neck, elongated, pointed wings and long wedge-shaped tail.
Passenger pigeon was graceful and maneuverable in the air. It was able to fly large distances at the speed of 60 miles per hour.
Passenger pigeon was diurnal bird.
Diet of passenger pigeon was based on the nuts, berries, worms and insects.
Passenger pigeons had used loud shrieks, clucks and chatters for communication.
Name "passenger pigeon" refers to the migratory habits of this species. Flocks of millions of passenger pigeons were hundreds of miles long and they were able to blacken the sky.
Males had used songs and visual display to attract females during the mating season.
Passenger pigeons had only one egg per season.
One of the biggest nesting areas of passenger pigeons was forest in Wisconsin. Area of 1000 square miles was used as a breeding ground for 100 million birds that were packed close to each other on the trees (around 500 nests per tree).
Milky secretion from the gullet of both parents had served as basic source of food for the chicks (called squabs) until the age of 3 to 4 days. Young passenger pigeons were forced to learn how to survive on their own shortly after hatching.
Passenger pigeons had been hunted as a source of food by both native Americans and European settlers.
"Stool pigeon" is a phrase that refers to the hunting of passenger pigeons. Trapped passenger pigeon tied to a small stool and laid on the ground was used to "signal" passenger pigeons above it that it is safe for landing. Immediately after landing, passenger pigeons were trapped in the nets or killed with the guns.
Scientists are working on the project aimed to revive the passenger pigeon (this method is called de-extinction). DNA of the closest living species of pigeon can be modified to resemble DNA of passenger pigeon via genetic engineering. Newly formed DNA should be inserted into the reproductive cells of embryo of band-tailed pigeon and one day, when band-tailed pigeon becomes old enough to reproduce, it will produce eggs with passenger pigeons inside.


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