Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius)


French: Tourte voyageuse German: Wandertaube Spanish: Paloma migratoria

Columba migratoria


, 1766,

North America = South Carolina




Forests in E & C Canada and USA, occasionally wandering S to Mexico and Cuba.

The last wild individual was shot in 1900, and surveys in 1910–1911 failed to record any#R. The last captive bird, given the name “Martha”, died in 1914 in Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio#R. The extinction of this once abundant species was apparently caused chiefly by the destruction of native deciduous forest of E North America (on which it was dependent) combined with notoriously intense hunting pressure; social factors, such as its obli­gatory gregariousness, would have contributed, and in the later stages human disturbance of nesting sites would have prevented any real recovery#R.

Descriptive notes

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Recommended citation

(2019). Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 January 2019).