Thursday, May 1, 2014
'Smokies Life' features story about passenger pigeons and H.P.
One hundred years ago—1914—the last known passenger pigeon died. Once numbering in the billions, there were no more living, only museum study skins and display specimens rendered to look life-like by taxidermists. Cloaked in equal amounts of passion and pathos, the story of the decline of such a copious creature is compelling.
The new issue of Smokies Life magazine (Volume 8, #1) features an article about passenger pigeons titled "From Six Billion to One" penned by our own executive director Paul James. It's a fitting remembrance.
Paul's article details the story of the now extinct species that was once prominent in our area. Legend has it that the Little Pigeon River and Pigeon Forge both were named for the pigeons that were always "passing through," roosting along the river banks eagerly eating the seeds and fruits that hung from the trees.
Subtitled "How a Passenger Pigeon Came to Roost in the Smokies" the article also tells the story of how one specimen once bought and owned by H.P. Ijams made its way to the natural history archives at the national park. And there's a sidebar written by Paul about H.P. and his role/adventures in the early pre-park days of the Smokies.
Copies of this issue of Smokies Life are available in the Ijams Gift Shop.
- Stephen Lyn Bales.
Posted by Stephen Lyn Bales at 9:00 AM