Still Life

17 June 2013 | 9:18 am By:


At one time the passenger pigeon was the most common species of bird in America. Now not a single one is left, at least not alive. Special Collections, within the College’s Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library, is fortunate to be one of the few places to possess a preserved passenger pigeon, which went extinct around the turn of the 20th century. Another surviving display, named Martha, is part of the Smithsonian’s Bird Collection in Washington, D.C., and is thought to be the last passenger pigeon to have lived, albeit in captivity her whole 29-year life at the Cincinnati Zoo. The late artist and naturalist John Henry Dick donated the College’s passenger pigeon. Among many gifts, Dick also bequeathed Dixie Plantation to the College, as well as a rare, four-volume elephant folio set of John James Audubon’s Birds of America.

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